Senator Leila de Lima yesterday the House of Representatives of railroading the dismissal of the impeachment grievance in opposition to President Duterte based mostly fictitious grounds.

In a press release, de Liam mentioned Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano was not solely blocked from presenting his witnesses and proof, but additionally on his alleged lack of private data on charges hurled at Duterte.

De Lima famous that nowhere within the provisions of the 1987 Constitution on the initiation of impeachment grievance in opposition to the President that the complainant ought to have private data of the circumstances filed as claimed by House Majority Leader Rodolfo Farinas.

“Nowhere, but nowhere, in this constitutional provision or the Rules of the House of Representatives is it required that the Member of Congress who files the impeachment complaint must have personal knowledge of the articles of impeachment. Had it been otherwise, past impeachment complaints, such as those against then President Joseph Estrada and former Chief Justice Renato Corona, would have likewise failed because no member of the House who ever filed or endorsed an impeachment complaint had any personal knowledge of the grounds constituting the complaints against the concerned impeachable officials,” De Lima identified.

“To impose such a requirement is to transform this critical and constitutional process of exacting the accountability of the highest official in the land into an exercise, not just in futility, but in mere window dressing: there to perform no other function than to fool the Filipino people, and to make a lie out of the principle that ‘Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them’,” the senator added.

De Lima mentioned that Rule three, Section four, of the Rules of Procedure on Impeachment Proceedings within the House of Representatives offers that “[t]he requirement of substance is met if there is a recital of facts constituting the offense charged and determinative of the jurisdiction of the committee.”

“A cursory review of the impeachment complaint would show that Alejano properly complied with this requirement in the House Rules. At this stage, the members of the committee should not yet determine the weight and sufficiency of evidence,” De Lima mentioned.

“What is clear to us now is that the President’s allies in the House of Representatives are willing to ignore the rule of law, the bounds of fair play, and any semblance of professional decency in order to protect, however irrationally, their principal. The dismissal of the impeachment complaint by the Committee on Justice in the House of Representatives is a testament to the failure of the House to perform its duty to keep the executive powers in check, when congressmen prevented a legitimate effort to hold the President accountable for his actions,” she added.

Alejano’s grievance is predicated on sound proof and he needs to be given the chance to current his case, De Lima mentioned.

“In line with his military career characterized by honor, integrity, bravery, and heroism, he should also be commended for his courage to stand up to the President despite the odds and overwhelming pressure. At a time of looming tyranny, we need more statesmen like him who are not afraid to fight for what is right no matter how unpopular it may be,” she mentioned.

The senator remains to be hoping, for the sake of the nation, that the plenary will overturn the committee’s determination dismissing the grievance.

“The day we merely pay lip service to the checks and balance in our political system, instead of living up to the spirit of this republican principle, is the day we lose our democracy,” she added.