MANILA, Philippines (Updatedd 10:55 a.m.) — A congressman allied to Sen. Antonio Trillanes filed an impeachment complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte at the House of Representatives on Thursday for alleged betrayal of public trust and corruption.
Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano showed the first page of the complaint to reporters indicating a possible violation of the Constitution, engagement in bribery and "other high crimes" on the part of Duterte under Sections 2 and 3 of the 1987 Charter.
At a news briefing following the filing of the complaint, Alejano said there are at least five grounds for the possible ouster of Duterte, the strongest of which is the "state policy of killing drug offenders.
"Yung pagpapatay ng mga Pilipino na hindi man lang dumaan sa proseso, democratic processes na mayroon tayo sa ngayon, ang paglabag ng rule of law and due process. At mahigit na po 8,000 ang namatay sa ngayon (The killing of Filipinos without undergoing judicial and democratic processes, and the violation of the rule of law)," he said.
The party-list also saw Duterte's tenure as mayor of Davao City to be riddled with graft and corruption and the employment of a liquidation team that killed 1,400 individuals over the past decades.
"Graft and corruption, napapaloob po dito ang kanyang bank accounts, marami ho ito. Around P2.2 billion at hindi man lang ho ito nai-declare sa kanyang SALN, at kasama ho rito ang mga properties na hindi po niya dineclare sa kanyang SALN (Duterte has a number of bank accounts amounting to P2.2 billion that was not disclosed in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth)," Alejano claimed.
He also alleged that the Davao CIty government employed 11,000 ghost employees when Duterte was mayor.
Alejano said the group is still studying whether Duterte had a "secret agreement" with China, specifically in allowing its ships' presence in Benham Rise, an undersea territory east of Luzon that extends the Philippines' continental shelf.
The impeachment complaint, however, is likely to be heavily opposed in a lower chamber controlled by a so-called supermajority allied to the president. At the voting on the revival of the death penalty last week, the majority had a commanding vote of 217 against 54 in favor of the controversial measure.
Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella, meanwhile, dismissed the impeachment complaint as part of the "larger scheme of things," referring to the so-called destabilization plot oft-cited by Duterte's officials. — Camille Diola