Speaker invokes separation of powers in bid to impeach Morales
THERE’S no pressure from President Rodrigo Duterte to impeach Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said Wednesday.
Alvarez, a bosom buddy of Duterte, acknowledged the President’s remark expressing his desire to have Morales, along with Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, impeached, but he invoked the separation of powers between the executive and the legislature.
“For me, I don’t consider it as pressure. In the first place I do not work for the President. I work for the Republic of the Philippines,” the Speaker said
Alvarez said he considered Duterte’s comment about impeaching Morales as simply that of “an ordinary citizen who says ‘I will file an i mpeachment complaint in Congress’.”
Alvarez added, however, that a number of lawmakers had already expressed their intent to endorse the planned impeachment complaint against Morales.
Some groups, i ncluding the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption, have a nnounced plans to file an impeachment complaint against Morales on a number o f grounds, including her supposed partisanship and alleged corruption in her office.
Alvarez said he did not wish to preempt the filing.
“But once somebody files, we have no choice but to process it,” he said.
The Speaker added that there was no truth to assertions that the House of Representat ive s was using impeachment as a weapon against political dissenters.
“That is the most unfair statement,” he said. “In the first place, it is a constitutional process. If it is a constitutional process, it is in accordance to the Constitution. Therefore, it is legal.”
Alvarez did not say what he thought if there were strong basis to impeach the President. “Let’s look at the grounds first, if it is true or no t .”