Palace: Duterte supports impeachment of corrupt officials

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is going to support any move—including impeaching any official regardless of position—that would help in ridding the government of corruption, Malacañang said on Monday, August 14.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella stressed that keeping the administration clean from any irregularities has been among Duterte’s major campaign promises.

“Without making references to any particular individual, the president, of course, is highly supportive of all moves that will set the house, the Philippine government in order. And he’s been very clear about that, that is one of his campaign promises,” Abella told reporters.

Abella made the statement in a media conference when asked if Duterte will back possible impeachment complaints against Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Andres Bautista.

He said that Duterte is supportive of any move that would bring “correction” to the government institutions.

“And so, each and every act — each and every move that entails bringing about a correction in our — especially in our institutions is welcome and I’m sure he is supportive of. That is not in reference to any particular individual,” he added.

Bautista’s estranged wife, Patricia, alleged that the Comelec chief has amassed nearly P1 billion in ill-gotten wealth. He was also accused of wrongly declaring his 2016 statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II has authorized the National Bureau of Investigations (NBI) to investigate Patricia’s claims against her husband. The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) is also conducting a separate probe into possible violations committed by Bautista when he was still the agency’s head.

Last week, a report from the Philippine Star said Oliver Lozano, a lawyer and Marcos loyalist, has filed an impeachment complaint against Bautista before the Office of the Ombudsman for the latter’s alleged culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust.

Apart from Bautista, Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno is also facing a possible impeachment case under the same alleged offenses.

Lorenzo “Larry” Gadon, a lawyer and the president of Pro-Duterte Constitutional Reformers to Federalism, said he is planning to file impeachment rap against Sereno over her alleged “unreasonable” purchase of a Toyota Land Cruiser amounting to P5.1 million.

He also accused Sereno of failing to be truthful in declaring her SALN and of obstructing justice when she ordered Muntinlupa judges to not to issue arrest warrants against Senator Leila De Lima.

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