Asia Pacific / Politics

Opposition lawmaker files impeachment complaint against Duterte over extrajudicial killings, graft

Kyodo

An impeachment complaint was filed Thursday in the Philippine Congress against President Rodrigo Duterte, citing alleged involvement in extrajudicial killings in the government’s drug war, graft and corruption as grounds for removing him from office.

Rep. Gary Alejano of the opposition Magdalo Party-List lodged the complaint against Duterte in the House of Representatives, a day after it went on a three-week break.

“According to the complaint that we filed, we believe that because of the crimes and the violations against our Constitution, the president has to be made accountable on the following basis,” Alejano said, citing numerous grounds for the ouster.

The motion asserts Duterte should be impeached for bribery, betrayal of public trust and violating the Constitution, by inducing the national police and vigilante groups to kill suspects in a government campaign against illegal drugs.

The complaint alleges that around 8,000 people have been killed in the Philippines since Duterte took office last June in the crackdown on illicit drugs.

The complaint further alleges more than 1,400 people were killed through summary executions during Duterte’s tenure as mayor of Davao, the largest city on the Philippine southernmost main island of Mindanao.

In addition, the impeachment complaint alleges Duterte benefited from graft and corruption in the hiring of city workers there.

Issues of unexplained wealth were included in the impeachment complaint, which alleged that the Duterte family is hiding a fortune of 2.2 billion pesos ($43.86 million), which was not disclosed as required by laws pertaining to government officials.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella branded the filing of the complaint part of the opposition’s larger effort to destabilize the government.

Under Philippine law, the process of impeaching a president starts in the House of Representatives, where only a third of the lower house’s 292 members must approve for the matter to proceed to the Senate. A two-thirds vote of the 24-member Senate is then required to remove a president from office.

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