Tuesday, March 21, 2017

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MANILA – The opposition Liberal Party (LP) defended Vice President Leni Robredo’s video message to a United Nations (UN) meeting, condemning the prevalence of extrajudicial killings under the government of President Rodrigo Duterte.

LP said the six-minute video message only showed the country’s commitment to democracy where the right to dissent is respected.

“We urge Senate President (Aquilino) “Koko” Pimentel (III) to focus on the numbers that matter: the thousands of unresolved murders, the rising prices of basic goods, and the 13-million hectare undersea region rich in minerals and biodiversity of Benham Rise,” they said in a statement.

Pimentel, reacting to the plan of House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to file an impeachment complaint against Robredo on the grounds of betrayal of public trust for sending the UN a video message opposing Duterte’s anti-drug campaign, said on Sunday there is  “big chance” the Lower House will approve the impeachment of the vice president.

Alvarez, the senator also said, has the numbers to unseat the vice president.

The president and the two congressional leaders belong to the Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan.

“Instead of the life and death issues that confront our people every day like putting food on the table and our children’s safety, security, and future, politics is dominating the national discourse,” said Sen. Francis Pangilinan, also LP president.

“Let us, the country’s elected national leaders, all return the focus on what the people sent us to the Senate to do: improve their and their children’s lives,” Pangilinan added.

The impeachment complaint against Robredo may reach the Senate if the congressman would again resort to bullying and threatening the House members, according to Sen. Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino.

The Davao del Norte representative earlier stripped lawmakers who voted against the passage of the death penalty bill on third and final reading of committee chairmanship.

“But I have faith that my fellow legislators can still stand up to pressure that may be put on them and act fairly on the matter. Clearly, this reaction from leaders of this administration is coming from the obsessive need to curb dissent or disagreement,” Aquino said./PN


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