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House panel junks impeachment complaint vs Duterte

MANILA, May 15 -- The House justice committee on Monday voted to reject the impeachment complaint lodged against President Rodrigo Duterte for insufficiency in substance.

While the justice panel found the impeachment complaint filed by Magdalo Rep Gary Alejano sufficient in form, Oriental Mindoro Rep. Doy Leachon and Deputy Speaker Fredenil Castro moved to declare the complaint “insufficient in substance”.

Leachon and Castro’s motion was approved with a total of 42 votes.

The panel, chaired by Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, will then submit its report to the House within 60 session days, and the House calendars it within 10 session days.

Alejano faced grilling over his lack of personal knowledge in the material allegations he made in the complaint.

Alejano sought the ouster of Duterte for his state policy on illegal drugs which resulted in a spate of summary executions and extrajudicial killings; his alleged links in the vigilante killings by the Davao Death Squad; and his alleged PHP2.2 billion hidden wealth.

Alejano also filed a supplemental complaint regarding Duterte’s failure to assert the country’s sovereign and maritime rights over disputed territories with China including Benham Rise, Panatag Shoal and the rest of the West Philippine Sea.

Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas raised the issue of verification in Alejano’s complaint, which reads: “I/We hereby confirm and affirm that the material allegations made therein are true and correct of my/our own personal knowledge and as culled from authentic records.”

Fariñas asked Alejano if he has personal knowledge over Duterte’s alleged hand in the extrajudicial killings and summary executions of more than 8,000 drug suspects as a result of the administration’s anti-drug campaign, as well as the 1,400 vigilante killings by the DDS.

Alejano admitted that he has not witnessed the killings, but insisted that he has personal knowledge based on authentic records from open sources, policy statements, and media pronouncements of the President.

“I have personal knowledge based on the testimonies and affidavits of witnesses,” Alejano said.

Fariñas said Alejano “clearly has no personal knowledge” on the material allegations he made in his complaint, noting that it is riddled with “complicated quadruple hearsay”.

“The material allegations, kung hearsay lang e, sasayangin mo lang ang panahon namin dito,” said Fariñas.

The majority leader warned that Alejano might face an ethics complaint and a perjury case because of his hearsay allegations.

“You are producing statements under oath which are not your own, bawal po yan,” Fariñas said.

“You are now coming to us and in fact I am warning you, you may be subjected to ethics case here,” he added. (PNA)

House panel junks impeachment complaint vs Duterte House panel junks impeachment complaint vs Duterte Reviewed by AsianPolicy.Press on 1:23:00 AM Rating: 5

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