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Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Speaker: Nothing in the offing amid impeach VP talk

House Speaker Martin Romualdez on Sunday denied claims that there was a move to impeach Vice President Sara Duterte amid talk of fractures inside the “UniTeam” coalition.

“I’m not aware of anything…There’s been nothing filed, no news of that,” Romualdez said in a chance interview in San Francisco, California, where he is part of President Marcos’ delegation to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit.

“I don’t know who your sources are but there’s nothing in the offing,” he added.

He described his working relationship with Duterte as “very good.”

Talk of an impeachment complaint emerged after House Deputy Minority Leader and ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro said that there is “ongoing discussion with some congressmen” to oust the vice president.

But Castro, who recently filed a complaint against the vice president’s father, former President Rodrigo Duterte for grave threats, said the so-called impeachment plot was mere talk.

Rumors of an impending impeachment also came after Congress removed P650 million in confidential and intelligence funds from the two government agencies Duterte heads.

Romualdez, a cousin of President Marcos, defended the move, saying it was not politically motivated.

Meanwhile, Zamboanga City Rep. Jose Dalipe urged former President Rodrigo Duterte to spare the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police from partisan intrigues.

“I respectfully appeal to former President Rodrigo Duterte to recognize the paramount importance of keeping our Armed Forces and National Police free from partisan politics. These institutions serve as the bedrock of our nation’s security, and their effectiveness relies on unity and impartiality,” he said.

“We have already achieved so much in our quest to professionalize our military and police service. Let us not squander what we have accomplished by putting the AFP and the PNP in a bad light because of these baseless statements,” he added.

He said the accusations of the ex-President that the AFP and PNP were participating in political activities are unfair, citing their hard work to restore the uniformed service’s credibility and professionalism.

Dalipe, a majority leader, said Duterte must focus on prioritizing the country’s well-being over his political interests.

The days of military adventurism are over, he said, adding the AFP and PNP are focused on their constitutional mandate as pillars of the nation’s democracy and sovereignty.

“The AFP and the PNP have more important things to do than watching Congress as claimed by the former President. Our uniformed service must be insulated from partisan activities and should maintain the highest degree of professionalism. Let us spare the AFP at PNP,” he said.

On a program aired on the Sonshine Media Network, the media company of Duterte’s spiritual advisor Apollo Quiboloy, who is wanted in the United States for sex trafficking and rape, the former president warned lawmakers to “watch the military and the police closely.”

“You who are conniving in Congress. I am not scaring you, but watch the military and the police closely,” the former president said.

He also said Romualdez would run in the next presidential election.

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