By ELLSON A. QUISMORIO
Congressmen expect the House Committee on Justice to junk the impeachment complaint filed against President Duterte when it tackles the matter in a hearing today.
“It will not prosper,” said Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel, chairperson of the House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability.
Also saying that the impeachment complaint won’t prosper is Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe. “Well my fearless forecast is the same as everybody else’s,” Batocabe, president of the 46-member Party-List Coalition in the House of Representatives, said.
With the complaint expected to be junked quickly, Batocabe warned that “there will be plenty who will grab the microphone, look at the cameras, and manifest irrelevant, inane matters.”
Even congressmen from the minority believe that Duterte’s impeachment complaint will go nowhere.
“You can forget about it, that’s nothing,” said House Minority Leader Quezon Rep. Danilo E. Suarez. “Why would you impeach a popular president?” Suarez said.
Suarez said that Duterte’s only fault is his weak choice of Cabinet officials. But as far as the President’s leadership is concerned, he has no problem with it.
Another super majority lawmaker, CIBAC party-list Rep. Sherwin Tugna, said the Chief Executive is simply too popular to be impeached at this point, which is just 11 months into his tenure in Malacañang.
“I believe there was a recent survey that 80 percent of Filipinos are satisfied with the performance of the president. At this point in time, I don’t think that will prosper,” said Tugna, chairman of the House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms.
The impeachment complaint was filed by Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano on March 16. Alejano is part of the handful of opposition solons critical of “Digong.”
Pimentel and Batocabe belong to the numerically imposing super majority bloc in the House allied with the populist Duterte.
Pimentel is a stalwart of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan which heads the super majority. Duterte, who is also from Mindanao, is the PDP-Laban chairperson.
The House Justice Committee will decide if the Alejano complaint is sufficient in form and substance.