Thursday, 30 March, 2017

Philippine President Duterte to visit Thailand

The US Navy’s guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur is seen operating in the South China Sea The US Navy’s guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur is seen operating in the South China Sea
Lance Thomas | 17 March, 2017, 01:03

Robredo refused to comment on the complaint filed by Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano to impeach Duterte.

He told reporters, "The President should be impeached due to culpable violation of the Constitution, bribery, betrayal of public trust, graft and corruption and other high crimes ..."

Responding to the complaint, a spokesman for Duterte said the representative was "scraping the bottom of the barrel" with this complaint.

In the 16-page impeachment complaint, Alejano said Duterte committed high crimes of bribery, multiple murder and crimes against humanity when he adopted a state policy of inducing policemen, other law enforcemet authorities, and vigilante groups into the extrajudicial killings of more than 8,000 persons who were merely suspected of being drug offenders. Please refresh page for updates.

Also among the charges the complaint leveled against Duterte are 2 billion pesos ($40 million US) that it claims the president never declared as required by law.

Alejano said the impeachment complaint did not yet include the issue on Benham Rise. "But precisely, the battle for impeachment must be fought both inside and outside the halls of Congress", he said, according to ABC.

Since Duterte took office in late June of past year to January 30, 2017, over 2,500 suspects have died in police operations against drug users and pushers, according to official statistics.

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The European Parliament issued a resolution castigating the Duterte government for its abusive "war on drugs" linked to killings by police and "unidentified gunmen" of more than 7,000 people since July a year ago.

Jose said "these visits are part of the President's introductory visits to countries in Southeast Asia".

Despite Alejano's claim that his complaint would give the public "a voice to oppose and fight against the abuses and crimes" of the president, Duterte continues to enjoy strong support from Filipino voters.

Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez laughed off the impeachment complaint. They are not even in the league of Don Quixote so this impeachment won't fly. Solicitor Jose Calida says the impeachment motion has no basis.

Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito said an impeachment case is the last thing the country needs.

The largely Catholic nation's Congress is now on break for Lent, so Alejano's complaint won't be heard until May 7. The allegations in the complaint are not anchored on concrete or solid evidence that would support findings of any of the enumerated grounds for impeachment.

He said he preferred that the group chose a constitutional way of removing a sitting president instead of resorting to extra-constitutional means like the 2003 mutiny against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. He will also be among the first to meet with the new president of Korea following May 9 election. Francis Pangilinan called for respect for the impeachment process.

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