MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Monday distanced itself from the impeachment threat against Vice President Leni Robredo over her remarks supporting a United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution seeking to review the human rights situation in the country.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said it will leave it to the courts to decide whether Robredo should be impeached.
“You know, we have better things to do. There are so many problems in this country. I will leave it to those who would want to initiate whatever they want to initiate against whomsoever,” Panelo told reporters in a Palace press briefing.
The Palace official made the statement after Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) Commissioner Manuelito Luna threatened to file an impeachment rap against Robredo for backing the resolution seeking to probe the killings under President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.
“Vice President Robredo’s expression of support to the UNHRC against the Philippine government may cause her to be impeached,” Luna said in a statement.
“For the nth time, she has made it appear that the government is guilty of human rights abuses, and that’s betrayal of public trust,” he added.
Luna, however, clarified his statement was just a warning.
When asked if Robredo’s expression of support for the UN resolution can be used to impeach her, Panelo replied: “If gross ignorance is the ground for impeachment, is that a ground under the Constitution? But I will let the advocate pursue that line.”
“There are many legal opinions as there are lawyers, impeachment court will be the ultimate decider of that legal issue,” he added. (with details from Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo on Saturday issued a statement commemorating the harrowing events of the Marawi Siege.
“Today, we mark the third anniversary of the Marawi Siege. To this day, the city lies in ruins, and its people’s lives are frozen in time. Many of its residents remain in temporary shelter communities,” Robredo said.
The vice president recalled how the city of Marawi has been suffering “even as we all face the challenges brought about by COVID-19.”
She recounts how events bring people to connect as one.
“The ongoing crisis should have by now made us realize: The suffering of one redounds to the suffering of all. Magkakarugtong ang diwa at pamumuhay ng bawat Pilipino. Ang hamon sa isa ay hamon sa lahat; ang pagpapabaya sa isa ay pagpapabaya sa lahat; ang ginhawa at pag-angat ng mga nasa laylayan ay pag-angat ng lahat. Healing requires the entire nation to bring its resources to bear,” Robredo articulated.
“Let us also remember that temporary shelter communities pose an even more profound challenge given the virality of COVID-19. Any outbreak in these tightly-packed communities will increase the risk for all of us, and affect a public health system that is already under tremendous strain,” she added.
The vice president also touched on the forthcoming celebration of the Muslim holiday, Eid’l Fitr.
“A few days from now, we will celebrate Eid’l Fitr, a Muslim holiday whose message of compassion and inclusiveness should resonate with every Filipino regardless of creed. Three years of inaction and neglect in Marawi is a thousand days too long,” she said.
She also appealed on concerned authorities to fast track their actions to extend help to the people of Marawi.
“We call on all concerned agencies to accelerate their actions while exercising full transparency. Marawi is not merely a tragedy to be remembered; it is an ongoing problem that needs to be solved,” the vice president concluded. — /mbmf
Brazilians are split on impeaching President Jair Bolsonaro despite a majority believing accusations by the former justice minister that Bolsonaro tried to interfere with the federal police’s work for political gain, a poll conducted on Monday (April 27) showed.
Pollster Datafolha found that 48% oppose impeaching Bolsonaro while 45% of those surveyed want to see him impeached, a difference within the margin of error of the poll.
Sergio Moro, a popular minister because of his record fighting corruption as a federal judge, resigned as justice minister on Friday (April 24), accusing the president of attempting to interfere in sensitive police investigations involving family members.
Bolsonaro said the accusations were unfounded.
For 52% of those polled by Datafolha, Moro was telling the truth and only 20% said they believed Bolsonaro’s account.
While Brazilians are split on Congress removing the president by impeachment, the number that believe Bolsonaro should resign has risen to 46% from 37% in the previous poll at the beginning of April. Those opposed to his resigning have decreased to 50% from 59%.
A main reason for discontent with Bolsonaro has been his handling of the coronavirus epidemic, whose gravity he has downplayed as the death toll rises in Brazil. The poll found 45% consider his handling bad or terrible against 27% who think he has done a good or excellent job.
The Datafolha poll showed that Bolsonaro has hung on to his core support, with the positive approval rating of his government rising to 33% from 30% in December. Its negative numbers have risen to 38% from 36% four months ago.
Datafolha polled 1,503 people by telephone on Monday. The poll has a margin of error of 3 percentage points up or down. (Reuters)
REUTERS — President Donald Trump was acquitted on Wednesday (February 5) in his U.S. Senate impeachment trial, saved by fellow Republicans who rallied to protect him nine months before he asks voters in a deeply divided America to give him a second White House term.
The businessman-turned-politician, 73, survived only the third presidential impeachment trial in U.S. history – just like the two other impeached presidents – in his turbulent presidency’s darkest chapter. Trump now plunges into an election season that promises to further polarize the country.
Trump was acquitted largely along party lines on two articles of impeachment approved by the Democratic-led House of Representatives on Dec. 18, with the votes falling far short of the two-thirds majority required in the 100-seat Senate to remove him under the U.S. Constitution.
The Senate voted 52-48 to acquit him of abuse of power stemming from his request that Ukraine investigate political rival Joe Biden, a contender for the Democratic nomination to face Trump in the Nov. 3 election. Republican Senator Mitt Romney joined the Democrats in voting to convict. No Democrat voted to acquit.
The Senate then voted 53-47 to acquit him of obstruction of Congress by blocking witnesses and documents sought by the House. A conviction on either count would have elevated Vice President Mike Pence, another Republican, into the presidency. Romney joined the rest of the Republican senators in voting to acquit on the obstruction charge. No Democrat voted to acquit.
On each of the two charges, the senators voted one by one on the Senate floor with U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts presiding.
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