Philippines: Impeachment complaint highlights alleged graft and corruption

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte reacts during a press conference at the Malacanang presidential palace in Manila, Philippines on Monday, March 13, 2017. The Philippine president has ordered the military to assert his country’s ownership of a vast offshore region off its northeastern coast where Chinese survey ships have been sighted last year and alarmed defense officials. AP/Aaron Favila

MANILA, Philippines — The first impeachment complaint filed against President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday morning highlighted graft and corruption allegedly committed by the president.

Of the 17-page impeachment complaint filed by Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano, at least ten pages discussed the alleged violations of the Anti-Graft and Corruption Practices Act by Duterte and his family.

Alejano, allied with vocal Duterte critic Sen. Antonio Trillanes, said the complaint contains annexes of the president’s bank accounts, which he claims were not declared in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN). He also alleged Duterte has a number of bank accounts amounting to P2.2 billion.

House Speaker: This is stupidity

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Duterte’s party mate and ally, has dismissed the complaint as stupidity and has said it will not prosper.
“Simply put, this is stupidity, period,” Alvarez said in a TV interview.
He said the House of Representatives will process the complaint but said that nothing will come of it.
“Huwag na po tayong makarating doon sa numbers, pag-usapan na lang po natin yung substance. I don’t think doon sa substance po ay papasa iyan. Malinaw na malinaw po yan, kasing linaw po ng sikat ng araw,” he said.
Administration party PDP-Laban leads a supermajority coalition at the House and members are expected to toe the line as they did on the vote on the death penalty bill, which the House has already passed on third and final reading.
On Wednesday, several members of the majority were removed from leadership positions for voting against the bill. Among those removed was Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who was, until then, a deputy speaker.
Trillanes: Impeachment could happen by May

Prior to the filing of the impeachment complaint, Trillanes already mentioned possible impeachment proceedings against Duterte.

He said among the grounds to impeach Duterte include his alleged ill-gotten wealth that were undeclared in his SALN as well as his supposed violations of due process, human rights provision of the Constitution and the multiple murder when he was still a mayor of Davao City.

Trillanes in a previous radio interview, said Duterte’s ill-gotten wealth should be exposed because the people are not yet aware of this.  He said the president always portrays himself living a simple life when he own several secret bank accounts and properties.

The senator last week claimed that Duterte also owns around six to eight Harley-Davidson motorcycles, which he said belies the president’s simple image. Asked where he got the information, he said it was former SPO3 Arthur Lascañas, who also claims that he is a Davao Death Squad member, who told him.

“Maraming video niyan na naka-Harley Davidson si Duterte. Sa media, I believe makikita ‘yan, ipinagmamalaki niya yan,” Trillanes told at the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum last week.

“Hindi kasi puwedeng sabihin simpleng buhay ka lang kasi yung Harley Davidson mga 1.5 to 2 million pesos each ‘yan e,” he added.

‘Unexplained wealth’

In his impeachment complaint, Alejano also raised the unexplained wealth of Duterte and his children who include local government officials, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte.

Alejano said the president and his family’s wealth grossly is disproportionate to their legitimate means while their salaries and wages are also disproportionate.

He added that there had been several public admissions from the president himself. He also cited that Duterte made an excuse that some properties were given as “gifts” and “donations” from long-time friend Pastor Apollo Quiboloy of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, the Name Above Every Name Church, which he stressed, were also not declared.

Alejano slammed Duterte for not declaring his wealth, saying even property given as gifts should be declared in SALNs.

“The problem is not whether or not the Respondent Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s wealth is legal or illegal or whether or not it exceeded a certain threshold or not. The fact is that he never reported the same in his SALN, where he claimed to have Net Worth of around P23.5 million only even in his latest SALN filed in 2016,” the complaint read.

The Magdalo representative also raised the Commission on Audit report questioning the hiring of 11,000 contractual workers in 2014 which took P708 million from Davao City.

By doing this, Alejano said, Duterte violated the Anti-Graft Corrupt Practices Act or the Republic Act 3018.

He said this may result to “dismissal due to unexplained wealth in accordance to the provisions of RA 1379” or the “Act declaring forfeiture in favor of the state any property found to have been unlawfully acquired by any public officer or employee and providing for the proceedings therefor.”

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One Response to “Philippines: Impeachment complaint highlights alleged graft and corruption”

  1. daveyone1 Says:

    Reblogged this on World Peace Forum.

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