As seen on the August 2019 issue of The Philippine Sentinel
MANILA, Philippines — The Makabayan bloc is ready to endorse an impeachment complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte for allowing Chinese fishers access to the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the West Philippine Sea, ACT Teachers party list Rep. Antonio Tinio said.
Tinio said the basis for the impeachment complaint is “very clear,” citing statement of Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio that allowing Chinese fishers in the country’s EEZ is a violation of the Constitution.
“Kung may mamamayan na magpa-file ng impeachment complaint at malinaw ang batayan, definitely we are ready to endorse [the complaint],” Tinio said in an interview with DZMM [Radio].
He claimed Duterte’s pronouncement is impeachable as it clearly violates the Constitution which states that the EEZ is solely for the benefit of Filipinos.
“Malinaw na pag-amin ni Pangulong Duterte ‘yun na ‘yung foreign policy na siya ang tanging tagapagtakda, ‘yung foreign policy ng kanyang administration ay direktang lumalabag sa isang malinaw na probisyon ng Konstitusyon, so [it’s] impeachable,” he said.
Asked if he himself will file the impeachment complaint once he ends his term at the opening of the 18th Congress, Tinio said: “At some point, I think it will happen.”
But Tinio explained that timing is important in filing an impeachment complaint as members of the House of Representatives are now waiting as to who will get his blessing as the next Speaker.
“Kailangang humanap ng tamang panahon, at isang tamang factor diyan, ‘yung public opinion,” he said.
In a separate interview with ABS-CBN News Channel, Tinio added that a successful impeachment of the President “at this point, is highly doubtful,” assuming the emergence of a super majority in the House of Representatives in the 18th Congress.
“As we have seen before, what will happen is it will barely get off the ground before being thrown in the trash can by the justice committee,” he said.
(First published in Philippine Daily Inquirer.)