Duterte vs. impeachment

Duterte vs. impeachment

An impeachment motion was filed last Thursday in the Congress of the Philippines against President Rodrigo Duterte. The motion cites the participation of the President in extrajudicial killings during his tirade against drugs. If proven guilty and passed, he could be impeached. On the 20th of March 2017, Duterte made a statement condemning the motion and said that he would remain by any means possible.  

Will the attempted impeaching work?

An impeachment motion was filed last Thursday in the Congress of the Philippines against President Rodrigo Duterte. The motion cites the participation of the President in extrajudicial killings during his tirade against drugs. If proven guilty and passed, he could be impeached. On the 20th of March 2017, Duterte made a statement condemning the motion and said that he would remain by any means possible.  

What does the impeachment motion contain?

The complaint was made by Representative Gary Alejano of the opposition party or Magdalo Party. The motion puts forth the notion that Duterte has indulged in bribery, betrayal of public trust and heinous violations of the constitutions. He is accused of inciting violence amongst the police and non-governmental agencies who took part in the ‘drug purge’. The motion contains numbers stating that over 8,000 people have been murdered since Duterte began his war against illegal drugs. In Davao, itself, its estimated over 1,400 people were executed due to his messages.  It also states that Duterte’s and his family are guilty of stockpiling wealth of an estimated 2.2 billion pesos.

Can Duterte get impeached?

Under Philippine law, the process of impeaching a president starts in the House of Representatives, where only a third of the lower house’s 292 members must approve for the matter to proceed to the Senate. A two-thirds vote of the 24-member Senate is then required to remove a president from office.

So, in the current political reality facing the bill, it seems highly implausible. His Philippine Democratic Party-Power of the People or PDP control 98 seats in the house and unless they turn on their leader and vote in favor, Duterte will remain President. However, investigations have begun by the intelligence agencies and public into whether Duterte himself was responsible for any killings directly. Evidence surfacing and a reissue of the bill could then see both the ‘war on drugs’ and Duterte’s presidential reign come to an end.

Assessment

President Duterte will survive the attempt at his post but this shows civil unrest is coming to the boil. People are being affected directly by the executions and the government is failing to provide compensation or even burials for supposed ‘drug pushers’. This is angering the friends and families of the over 8,000 killed and if any evidence surfaces of Duterte taking part, the impeachment might not be as implausible

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