A committee of The House of Representatives has opened its hearing on the impeachment complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte.
Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano filed the complaint against Duterte for “murder and crimes against humanity in connection with his bloody anti-drug campaign, as well as corruption, betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution”.
As of posting time on Monday, May 15, Oriental Mindoro Representative Reynaldo Umali, chairman of the justice committee, is reading a background on the impeachment complaints that have been tackled by the House namely against former President Joseph Estrada, former Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez and the late Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Umali said the committee would determine whether the complaint was sufficient in form and substance.
But with Duterte’s allies dominating the House, the complaint against him is expected to be scuttled.
Under House rules, if the justice committee finds the complaint insufficient in form, it shall return the same to the Secretary General within three session days with a written explanation of the insufficiency.
Should the committee find the complaint sufficient in form, it shall then determine if the complaint is sufficient in substance.
The requirement of substance is met if there is a recital of facts constituting the offense charged and determinative of the jurisdiction of the committee, according to the same House rules.
If the committee finds that the complaint is not sufficient in substance, it shall dismiss the complaint and shall submit its report.
If the impeachment complaint is not endorsed, Duterte cannot be impeached until March 2018 as the House rules state that no similar proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year.