DOJ, SolGen: Impeachment complaint vs President Duterte baseless

MANILA-- The government's top legal counsels on Thursday said that the impeachment complaint filed by Magdalo Party-list Rep. Gary Alejano against President Rodrigo Duterte at the House of Representatives has no legal basis.

"The impeachment complaint has no factual and legal basis. The allegations in the complaint are not anchored on concrete or solid evidence that would support findings of any of the enumerated grounds for impeachment. Mere allegations without proof are not evidence," Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said.

The DOJ Secretary said the Duterte administration is not at all alarmed by the said act, adding that the President will continue doing what is good for the country and the Filipino people.

He said the complaint could be part of a wider plot to destabilize the administration though he did not provide details of the supposed plot to oust the President.

"That's just part of efforts to destabilize the Duterte administration," Aguirre said, who served as a private prosecutor in the historic impeachment trial of the late Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona.

For his part, Solicitor General Jose Calida slammed Alejano, calling him a "puppet" of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, a staunch critic of the President.

He noted that Trillanes and Alejano were both part of the Oakwood mutiny and the Manila Peninsula siege in Makati City which failed to topple the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

"The mischiefs of the Magdalo outcasts, Senator Trillanes and his acolyte, Representative Alejano, are afoot again. Obviously, they have not learned their lessons in the Oakwood and Manila Pen foolish misadventures to topple the government of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, they want a reprise of their failed dreams by filing an impeachment petition against President Rodrigo Roa Duterte," said Calida.

He added that the move is a desperate attempt of "spoiled grown up brats" to destabilize the country.

"They will not succeed. There are no valid grounds under our Constitution and laws to impeach President Duterte. I previously stated, impeachment won't fly. My office, the Office of the Solicitor General, is ready and raring to crush their puerile and futile attempts to destabilize our country. Let's unite and rally behind our duly elected President. let's defend the Republic and our President in anyforum. This time, the gloves are off," Calida stressed.

"Representative Alejano is a toady of his braggart patron, Senator Trillanes. They are not even in the league of Don Quixote so this impeachment won't fly. It will crash like a rudderless plane flown by witless pilots," he added.

Alejano, in his complaint, said the President has committed culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of public trust, graft and corruption and "other high crimes".

President Duterte holds majority support in the House of Representatives, where a vote of one third of all members is needed to transmit the complaint to the Senate for trial.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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