Rodrigo Duterte impeachment papers filed in Philippine Congress

Opposition lawmaker formally calls for president to be removed from power, accusing him of high crimes

Rodrigo Duterte should be impeached over a host of offences, says an opposition MP.
Rodrigo Duterte should be impeached over a host of offences, says an opposition MP. Photograph: Erik de Castro/Reuters

An opposition lawmaker filed an impeachment complaint in the Philippine Congress on Thursday against President Rodrigo Duterte, calling for his removal for what he said were high crimes, betrayal of public trust and abuses of power.

Lower house representative Gary Alejano accused Duterte of offences he said were worthy of impeachment, from concealing assets and conflicts of interest, to drug-related extrajudicial killings and running an alleged “death squad” when he was mayor of Davao city.

Duterte has rejected similar allegations levelled at him in the past. His spokesman on Thursday said Alejano was trying to create doubts among the public about the administration.

Alejano said his aim was to give Filipinos a chance to speak up against a powerful president.

“Our goal with this complaint is to be a vehicle for Filipinos to have a voice to oppose and fight against the abuses and crimes of President Duterte,” Alejano told a televised news conference.

“We know it’s an uphill battle … but we believe that many will support this complaint.”

He said Duterte’s actions were a “culpable violation of the constitution, engaging in bribery, betrayal of public trust, graft and corruption and other high crimes“.

Alejano accused Duterte of having a state policy of killing drug offenders.

More than 8,000 people have been killed since Duterte unleashed his anti-drugs crusade, some 2,500 in police raids and sting operations. The authorities vigorously deny involvement in thousands of mysterious killings of drug users.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said the complaint was part of a wider plot by opponents to undermine the Duterte administration.

“It seems rather dramatic that everything seems to be so coordinated at this stage,” Abella told reporters.

“It looks like they’re scraping the bottom of the barrel.”

Alejano accepted he may have difficulty getting house support behind his impeachment bid. Duterte’s popularity rating remains high and he enjoys big support in the bicameral Congress.

“We know the numbers are against us and we are facing a big challenge,” Alejano said.

“But we still believe that impeachment would be fought not only inside the halls of Congress but also outside.

“There’s the church, schools, civil society and the many Filipinos who did not vote and do not support and not in favour of the policies under President Duterte.”

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This entry was posted in Extra-judicial killing - Giết người không tòa án, Human rights - Nhân quyền and tagged , , , , by Trần Đình Hoành. Bookmark the permalink.

About Trần Đình Hoành

I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn. I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law. I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam. In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship. Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam. I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN. I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage dotchuoinon.com on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development (cvdvn.net). I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries. In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống). In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success". I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.

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