SENATOR Francis Escudero on Thursday reminded President Rodrigo Duterte’s critics that the impeachment threats against the Ombudsman and the Supreme Court’s chief justice also took place during the Aquino administration.
“Doon sa nagsasabi na papunta na sa isang diktadurya si Pangulong Duterte dahil ginagawa niya sa Ombudsman at sa Chief Justice, again, balik-tanawan natin ang ating kasaysayan, hindi ba’t ganyan eksakto din ang ginawa ng nakaraang administrasyon?” Escudero told reporters.
“Tinakot ng impeachment ang dating Ombudsman, nag-resign na lang. In-impeach ang naka-upong chief justice.”
Escudero made his statement even as he said the Senate will only begin with the impeachment proceedings against Commission on Elections Chairman Andres Bautista once the House of Representatives transmits the articles of impeachment to the Senate.
“The Senate will only convene as an impeachment body and the ball will only start rolling when the impeachment articles are already transmitted by [House] to the upper chamber,” Escudero said.
Earlier, he was referring to former Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez who resigned on April 29, 2011, or 10 days before the Senate, sitting as an impeachment court, was scheduled to start her trial.
On May 2012, the impeachment tribunal convicted the Chief Justice Renato Corona over his failure to fully disclose his wealth in his statements of assets, liabilities and net worth.
Duterte, meanwhile, has said he will personally file impeachment cases against Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales and Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
“Halos kung titignan n’yo, parallel, pareho, parang kino-kopya yung sa nangyari sa ating kasaysayan na wala namang ganoong alegasyon tulad ng mga alegasyon ngayon na binabato sa administrasyon,” Escudero said.
He noted that three incumbent senators were jailed during the Aquino administration while one senator, Leila de Lima, remains in detention under the Duterte administration.
Former senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Ramon Revilla Jr. and Jinggoy Estrada were detained over pork-barrel charges.
De Lima, meanwhile, is detained at the PNP Custodial Center over her alleged involvement in the drug trade inside the national penitentiary when she was Justice secretary.