‘Impeachment battle will only paralyze Congress’

Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) - March 23, 2017 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Having impeachment complaints against the President and Vice President is counter-productive and will only paralyze the main legislative functions of Congress, lawmakers warned yesterday.

Kabayan party-list Rep. Harry Roque said the impeachment complaints will consume time which Congress should use for acting on important measures such as the proposed Universal Health Care Act and Freedom of Information Act.

“Resorting to impeachment and counter-impeachment would result in legislative paralysis,” he added.

President Duterte is facing impeachment for allegedly encouraging summary killings of drug suspects and for letting China encroach in waters where Philippines has sovereign rights.

Vice President Leni Robredo, meanwhile, is facing impeachment for alleged betrayal of public trust after she sent to the United Nations a video message criticizing Duterte’s drug war.

Roque said he believes the impeachment complaint against Duterte “is bound to fail” because more case building is needed for it to prosper, “particularly on extralegal killings.”

Rep. Salvador Belaro Jr. of party-list 1-Ang Edukasyon also believes that the impeachment complaint against Duterte will be junked because of the commanding numbers of the supermajority that rules and supports the President.

Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas cautioned that the impeachment complaints will only result in “further polarization among our citizens” and get the country nowhere.

Muntinlupa City Rep. Ruffy Biazon said the leadership of the House of Representatives may opt to pursue a healing process in this season of Lent.

“The healing process is the most advisable thing to do because this will consolidate our forces. I think he (Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez) is doing the healing process. The caravan is part of it,” Biazon said, referring to the House committee on transportation’s 12-day national tour led by Alvarez. 

“The coming months are exciting, but it is really up to the Speaker what tactic he will abide by in ensuring solidarity,” Belaro said.

?Erap: Give Rody, Leni a chance

Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, who also faced impeachment when he was president, believes the impeachment complaints against Duterte and Robredo should not prosper because it will be bad for the country, particularly the economy.

“This is the first time that the President and the Vice President are facing impeachment complaints. That will really delay the progress of our country. I hope it will not happen. Let’s pray it will not prosper,” he said.

“Whether against the President or Vice President, I am not in favor. They are elected by the people. They’re both in their first year in office. Why not give them a chance?

“Just like what happened to me. They filed an impeachment complaint against me. That is why all my programs were delayed. Nothing happened. That is the reason why I don’t believe in this impeachment. It’s too early for politics. We will not move forward,” he added.

Last week, Estrada called on the public to stand behind Duterte and crush the impeachment complaint against him.

When asked what is his advice to Robredo, Estrada said, “I don’t give unsolicited advice.”

But Estrada said he is hoping that Duterte and Robredo will “talk and unite for the sake of the Filipino people.”  – With Jose Rodel Clapano

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