"It is unfortunate that the impeachment process has been hijacked and used as a tool for political vendetta."
Article Eleven of the 1987 Philippine Constitution clearly provides the mechanism in which a President or Vice President may be removed from public office. This is under the premise that 'Public officers and employees must, at all times, be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency; act with patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives.' Being the two highest officials of the country, both the President and Vice President are subjected to higher standards of accountability.
On 16 March, Rep. Gary Alejano of Magdalo Partylist filed a 16-page impeachment complaint before the House of Representatives, claiming that President Rodrigo Duterte committed culpable violation of the constitution, betrayal of public trust, bribery and graft and corruption. This is based on allegations of illegal acts supposedly committed by President Duterte dating back to his time as mayor of Davao City. Days after, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez also publicly expressed his desire to sponsor an impeachment complaint against Vice President Leni Robredo for betrayal of public trust. This is based on a video shown in a UN side event in which Vice President Robredo allegedly said that 'Filipinos were now feeling "hopeless and helpless" given the spate of killings in communities suspected of harboring drug dealers and users,' hence putting the image of the country in a bad light.
However, seasoned political, incumbent Senators/House Representatives and several experts have already zeroed in on the fact that these complaints will not hold water, claiming that the complaints or planned complaints are 'pre-mature, untimely and lacks merit.'
It is unfortunate that the impeachment process has been hijacked and used as a tool for political vendetta. Instead of being a process in which the accountability of public officials can be scrutinized, it has become an exercise to harass our leaders due to their contending opinions/perspective with a particular opposing segment of the government (either the majority or minority). In fact, it distracts the highest leaders of our land from fulfilling their mandate, duties and responsibilities as freshly and newly elected leaders of the country.
To be continued...