As Vice President Leni Robredo is being threatened by impeachment complaints, former Senate president and PDP-Laban founder Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel said those threats against her have no solid basis.
He said that her video message to a side event at the United Nations Convention in Vienna, Austria is not an impeachable offense.
“I’m sorry, natawa ako. Since when has appealing or reporting to the UN become an impeachable offense?” Pimentel told Rappler on March 22.
Pimentel also said that criticism aimed at the administration’s drug war is not enough basis for impeachment complaints.
“Moreover dapat siguro tignan nila ano nagawa ni Leni na labag sa Saligang Batas, hindi labag sa kanilang pag-iisip,” he said.
Pimentel’s son, Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, however, defended House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, who said that he is considering filing an impeachment complaint against Robredo over “betrayal of public trust” when she sent that video message to UN.
The younger Pimentel said that it is Liberal Party’s fault for rousing “the sleeping giant,” referring to Alvarez.
“Sino ba ang naunang nanuntok? So parang napa-react tuloy si Speaker and he has the numbers, that’s the problem. Ang ginising ‘nyo, sleeping giant. Reaction na lang ‘yun dahil may nag-file kasi against our party chairman,” Pimentel III said, referring to Duterte as PDP-Laban’s chairman.
The Senate President also said that the impeachment complaint against Duterte would not prosper, considering the strong support for Duterte.
San Beda Graduate School of law dean, Fr. Ranhilio Aquino, said that he “did not find anything offensive” in Robredo’s message to the UN. He added, though, that it is up to the House of Representatives to decide on whether to dismiss the impeachment complaint against her or not.
Despite refusing to speculate on how the impeachment complaint against Duterte would play out, he suggested to “just look at the figures.
“I don’t like to speculate but just look at the figures. For an impeachment to succeed they must vote for the articles of impeachment. You do the math,” he told ABS-CBN News.
Robredo’s UN message triggered impeachment threats vs. her
A group of lawyers, academics, and DILG official are eyeing filing an impeachment complaint against Robredo. They said that the Vice President’s video message to the UN triggered their plans, but said that they also found other impeachable offenses she committed since she assumed office.
Lawyers Trixie Cruz-Angeles, Bruce Rivera, professors Tom Berenguer and Antonio Contreras, and DILG Secretary Epimaco Densing III held a media briefing about their plans to impeach Robredo.
Rivera said Robredo committed impeachable offenses of culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of public trust and more high crimes. He added that Robredo “has gone too far” for peddling “lies.”
Inquirer noted that Rivera is Janet Lim Napoles’ lawyer in her serious illegal detention case, for which she was convicted.
As for Duterte’s call to stop the impeachment complaint against Robredo, Rivera said that if they see reasons to have her impeached, they will continue with their plan. He added that they are doing it for the Filipinos, not for the President. He also said that they are “not the President’s minions.”
Cruz-Angeles revealed that their impeachment complaint would have the support of some representatives, although she refused to name them.
“The fact that the vice president used this in her speech that makes a confusion that this is a factual matter is misleading. That’s why this is very important for us. This is the vice president giving fake news,” she said.
For Densing’s part, he wanted to have Robredo impeached due to the impact that Robredo’s message to the US have on the grants and loans from the international community.
The group planned to file the impeachment complaint against the Vice President when Congress resumes its session in May.