Sep 122016

Minority congressmen belonging to the Liberal Party on Tuesday denied allegations that the former ruling party is plotting to impeach President Rodrigo Duterte.

This was the assurance made by Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice, Northern Samar Rep. Raul Daza and Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, who belong to the eight-member group of minority lawmakers who call themselves “Legitimate Minority 8.”

They issued the statement following Duterte’s accusation on Monday that “yellow” forces are trying to build a case against him for possible impeachment proceedings in connection with the killings related to his administration’s war against drugs. 

“We can safely say that as far as Liberal Party members are concerned … we have not even talked about an impeachment,” Daza told reporters at a media briefing.

“Under the Constitution, the process of impeachment begins at the House. But I am sure there has not been any talk of impeachment,” he added, saying LP members have the freedom and the right to disagree among themselves.

Erice insisted despite their role to provide “checks and balances” in government, the minority remains to be “on the same boat” as President Duterte.

“We are here in the House in a parliamentary struggle. But we do not wish for the impeachment of the President,” he said.

The lawmaker appealed to Duterte to “appreciate that what we are doing here is for the country and the people.”

While also denying any impeach plots, Lagman warned the tough-talking President that he could be inadvertently compromising himself through his recent public pronouncements. 

“Far from an impeachment plot, it might be the President impeaching himself for improvident and ill-conceived statements unmindful of their adverse and compromising consequences,” said Lagman.

In a speech before new government appointees, Duterte said US President Barack Obama and United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon’s recent remarks might have been fed into the game being played against him by the “yellows.” 

“Sumakay itong si [United States Pressident Barack] Obama. Sumakay itong si [United Nations secretary general] Ban Ki-Moon. Dito sumakay. Alam mo kung kaninong laro ito? O, ayaw ko nang saibihin. Yellow iyan,” Duterte said. 

“They can think that if they can build a case against me, I’ll be impeached … In this quest of mine, I am prepared to lose my honor, my life, and the presidency,” he added. 

Yellow is the dominant color of the administration of former President Benigno Aquino III and the then-ruling Liberal Party. — RSJ, GMA News

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