DAVAO CITY, Philippines — For Pwersa ng Bayaning Atleta Partylist Rep. Jericho Nograles, the timing and substance of the impeachment complaint filed against President Rodrigo Duterte more political than factual.
In an interview with reporters on Thursday, Nograles questioned the timing of the impeachment complaint filed by Magdalo Partylist Rep. Gary Alejano.
“At this point in time, it is easy to suspect that this impeachment complaint is more political than factual. The impeachment process is a political process. But you should not abuse it,” Nograles said.
Alejano filed the impeachment complaint on the last day of session. This means Congress could only tackle the complaint on May 2, when it officially resumes.
Nograles said this could mean the impeachment complaint was more of a maneuver in the “court of public opinion.”
Alejano’s impeachment complaint accused Duterte of violating the constitution, bribery, betrayal of public trust, graft and corruption, and other high crimes, among others.
Nograles said even the Liberal Party would not support the impeachment complaint. LP Deputy Speaker Miro Quimbo in earlier interviews called the complaint “ill-timed.”
However, LP stalwart Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman clarified that Quimbo’s statement did not represent the whole party.
Nograles downplayed the impeachment complaint as part of a “tradition” since 2004. Nograles said he “half-expected” the impeachment complaint since Alejano and Sen. Antonio Trillanes, one of the President’s most vocal critics, were party mates.
Alejano also took part in the Oakwood Mutiny of 2003, which Trillanes himself led.
“Because of this apparent abuse in the impeachment proceedings, the impeachment complaints will always come, unless we change the system,” Nograles said. However, he admitted he did not know how or what changes would proceed.
Nograles also expressed confidence that the impeachment complaints would not affect the country’s economy.
“What affects our economy or market are issues like tax reform. issues whether or not the (Bureau of Internal Revenue) will file cases against certain companies. These are the things that affect our economy, not impeachment cases,’ Nograles said.
Nograles said this can be seen in the country’s continuously growing economy, which he claims surpasses other ASEAN neighbors, including China.
Nograles noted the appointment of a new Chinese consulate in Cebu, whose consul general will be assigned both in Cebu and Davao. He said this means that China is looking towards the Philippines to increase trade link ups.
Nograles also mentioned the possibility of direct flights from Tokyo to Davao City.
“Our economy is growing strong, and that is proof that political maneuvers against the president or the government do not affect our economic growth,” Nograles said. (davaotoday.com)