House panel junks impeachment rap vs. Duterte

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The impeachment complaint filed by Magdalo Party-list Rep. Gary Alejano against President Rodrigo Duterte was recently junked by the House of Representatives Committee on Justice on May 15, 2017 (Monday) for being “insufficient in substance” and Alejano’s lack of firsthand knowledge of his own complaint.

Forty-two members of the House voted to dismiss the complaint for being “insufficient in substance” just minutes after majority of the committee declared it sufficient in form.

The original vote was overturned when Mindoro Rep. Doy Leachon and Deputy Speaker Fredenil Castro raised concern over the validity of the case when Alejano did not seem knowledgeable about the content of his own impeachment complaint in the first place.

“You took it upon yourself to state under oath that you have personal knowledge on this, but now you’re saying hindi pala,” Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas said during his interpellation of Alejano over the latter’s claims of the spate of extrajudicial killings under the Duterte administration.

The grounds for impeachment that Alejano included in his 16-page complaint against Duterte are culpable violation of the Constitution, engaging in bribery, betrayal of public trust, graft and corruption, and other high crimes.

The issues raised by Alejano showed to be nothing more than “hearsay”, as Justice committee chair Rey Umali called it, since they were allegations based on newspaper accounts and not firsthand knowledge.

“Nakita naman na malinaw na malinaw na ‘yung mga alegasyon doon sa complaint ay walang base, dahil unang una, ito ay hearsay, ika nga. In fact, even the records appended in the complaint is without authentication,” he said.

“Inamin naman ni Congressman Alejano na ito’y wala siyang personal knowledge sa lahat ng alegasyon. And even a review of the complaint itself, malinaw na malinaw, he is citing records of newspaper accounts. So wala talagang personal knowledge,” he added.

Alejano’s lack of sufficient knowledge violates Paragraph 3 of the verification of complaint, where a complainant swears under oath that all his allegations are “true and correct” to his personal knowledge or via authenticated records.

With the vote on the impeachment case, Sec. 4 of the Rules of Procedures in Impeachment Proceedings dictates that if the committee finds that the complaint is insufficient in form, it will be returned to the House secretary general within three session days with a written explanation of the insufficiency.

The dismissed case should be returned by the Secretary General to the complainant within three session days.

Committee members of the opposition argued that the declaration of the case’s insufficiency will delay discussions on the impeachment complain about the President, however, other members insisted that the substance of the complaint must be discussed.

Under Sec. 11 of the Rules of Procedure, the panel’s dismissal of the complaint may be overturned by a vote of at least one-third of all members of the House, or 98 members under the 17th Congress.

Source: GMA News Online

House panel junks impeachment rap vs. Duterte House panel junks impeachment rap vs. Duterte Reviewed by Newsinfo Learn on May 15, 2017 Rating: 5

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