House officially junks impeachment case vs. the President; Duterte now immune from any other impeachment bid for a year

Image by Phil Star, AP/Aaron Favila, Pinoy Trending News

The House of Representatives on Tuesday officially dismissed the impeachment complaint against president Duterte.

With a vote of 217-4-0 in favor of the president, the House adopted Resolution 1015 of the Committee on Justice, which earlier rejected the impeachment rap filed by Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano.

The House justice committee declared that this very first impeachment complaint filed against Duterte is ‘sufficient in form but insufficient in substance.’

The complaint was filed in March by Alejano who accused the president of having a hand in the killings linked to the war on drugs and treason in conferral with China on matters of maritime domain.

Among those who opposed the approval of the committee report were Alejano, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat, and Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin.

Alejano said he has no personal knowledge as a witness, but that he had personal knowledge as a complainant based on official records, affidavits of witnesses and Duterte’s public announcements. Therefore, his appeals to be allowed to explain were rejected.

Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas argued that Alejano should demonstrate personal knowledge of the violations alleged in the complaint.

“This is the last time the House will entertain a complaint that violates the rules of verification,” Fariñas said.

Current rules provide that the Justice committee may only decide whether to junk an impeachment bid after assessing sufficiency in substance.

Due to this, Duterte is immune from any other impeachment bid for a year, or until May 9, 2018.