Philippine lawmakers kill impeachment case against Duterte

Philippine lawmakers kill impeachment case against Duterte

Philippine lawmakers kill impeachment case against Duterte

Philippine lawmakers on Monday rejected an impeachment complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte that accused him of a crime against humanity over the deaths of thousands of people killed in his war on drugs.

Earlier, Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas (PDP Laban, Ilocos Norte) pressed Alejano about his personal knowledge on the allegations heaped against the President, from his alleged involvement in extrajudicial killings, his family's alleged unexplained wealth, and his involvement in the Davao Death Squad allegedly behind the 1,400 killings during Duterte's term as Davao City Mayor.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte reacts during a news conference at the presidential palace in Manila, Philippines March 13, 2017.

He said the decision of the committee on justice to dismiss the case "was based not on principle but on political convenience".

"The committee on justice can not dismiss or sustain outright a duly filed and properly referred impeachment complaint without conducting a proper hearing as mandated by the Constitution", Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said.

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"Yeah, he can go ahead. This is a democracy", Duterte said.

"I assure you, if we allow the president that kind of power in violation of the constitution, if we allow it further, it will be a dictatorship", he told reporters after the vote. The truth is many people were killed.

Duterte said the charges are all nonsense.

"If you're asking if I saw the killings myself, I did not".

"I am not a witness of the killings, of the victims of the war on drugs".

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He said he felt the strategy of the House Justice Committee from the start was to belittle him not being a lawyer. Alan Peter Cayetano informed United Nations officials of the real situation in the drug war.

For opposition lawmaker Edcel Lagman, there are only two things to exact from the process of verification: whether there is a verified complaint and has the complainant sworn to the complaint.

"We will not do that".

Umali said that with today's development, the committee will now make its report to the plenary.

Lawmakers were in executive session for about an hour to decide after Justice Committee vice-chair Vicente Veloso pointed out that the one-year bar against multiple impeachment complaints will only apply if there is a finding of insufficiency in substance. "This is about the victims of extrajudicial killings, the interest of our country when it comes to our rights over South China Sea and Benham Rise and transparency".

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"Had it been otherwise, past impeachment complaints, such as those against then president Joseph Estrada and former chief justice Renato Corona, would have likewise failed because no member of the House who ever filed or endorsed an impeachment complaint had any personal knowledge of the grounds constituting the complaints against the concerned impeachable officials", De Lima said in a statement on Tuesday, May 16.

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