MANILA — Philippine lawmakers started hearing an impeachment complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, which alleges he betrayed the public trust over his “defeatist” approach to China and had abused his power during a bloody anti-drugs campaign.
The complaint by Gary Alejano, a member of a minority block, accuses Duterte of a litany of “high crimes”, including hiding wealth, ordering police to murder criminals, and of making clear his intention not to protect Philippine maritime sovereignty.
The house committee must decide whether the complaint has sufficient weight for it to be taken to a plenary vote of the house, then ultimately a trial at the Senate.
Politicians and even Alejano himself say it is likely the complaint will be thrown out given the huge support Duterte enjoys in the house and among the public. Duterte’s office dismisses it as “black propaganda”.
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