Move to oust Duterte won’t prosper, say Negros governors
Gilbert P. Bayoran (The Freeman) - March 21, 2017 - 12:00am

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines — Two Negros Island Region governors believe the move to impeach President Rodrigo Duterte won’t hold water because it is “baseless.”

Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon and Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo, along with congressmen attending a public consultation on constitutional reports in Bacolod City on Friday, dismissed the impeachment complaint against the president as a mere “hearsay.”

Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano, who filed the complaint, said he has a lot of evidence to back his claims against the president.

Alejano denied the allegation of House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez yesterday that Vice President Leni Robredo was involved in the filing of the complaint.

“I categorically deny that the vice president has anything to do with the impeachment complaint. This is solely a decision of the Magdalo group,” he said.

There is talk that it is the administration that is planning to impeach the vice president, he added.

Alejano, who is from Sipalay City in Negros Occidental, cited Duterte’s alleged culpable violation of the Constitution, bribery, betrayal of public trust, graft and corruption, and other high crimes in the impeachment complaint. All these actions constitute proper grounds for Duterte’s impeachment pursuant to Sections 2 and 3, Article XI of the 1987 Constitution, Alejano said.

But Degamo said he will not support the impeachment move against Duterte, dismissing the allegations as “baseless.”

Degamo, chairman of the PDP-Laban Negros Island Region, pointed out that Duterte has not violated any law.

The president is doing his best for the good of the Filipino people, he said.

“We should unite for the best interest of the country,” Degamo said.

Rep. Roger Mercado (Southern Leyte), chairman of the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments, said “for sure the impeachment complaint will not prosper because primarily, it lacks the substance and the form.”

He said the accusations are all hearsay and nothing but “a piece of paper.”

“Considering that the president is well-loved by the people and has the support of the majority coalition in Congress, I think it will not hold any chance. I appeal to our people not to give any consideration to these complaints because these are politically motivated and things that would just obstruct the focus of our administration,” Mercado said.

“We should instead unite and continue supporting our president so that more investors will come. We have to show that we are united as a people,” he added.

Representative Greg Gasataya (Bacolod) said it won’t be easy for Alejano to get the numbers required for an impeachment to progress.

Representative Alfredo Abelardo Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3rd District) said he has not seen the impeachment complaint, but with the current political alignments in the House and the Senate, he doubts that it will prosper.

“Politically, it’s premature. It’s not viable,” he said of the impeachment move.

Deputy House Speaker Mercedes Alvarez (Neg. Occ., 6th District) said the Nationalist People’s Coalition will fully support the president. (FREEMAN)

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