Makabayan brands filing of impeachment complaints 'diversionary tactic'

MAKABAYAN bloc on Thursday branded the series of impeachment complaints being filed against the heads of major institutions in the country as part of the diversionary tactics of the Duterte administration.

Gabriella Representative Emmi de Jesus even called it the administration's "grand plan" to lose the people's focus on issues that really need to be addressed.

"Ito ay magandang diversion. Isa itong grand plan na yung political agenda talagang papabor sa kanya, sa interest nila," de Jesus said.

[It's a good diversion. It is a grand plan that the political agenda really favored him, their interest.]

She continued: "Maliban pa dun, madidivert yung tunay na hinaing ng mamamayan, yung paniningil dun sa kaniyang mga naipangako."

[Besides that, it will divert the real grievances of the people, those that the administration promised.]

ACT Teachers party-list Representative France Castro said that the impeachment complaints filed against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and Commission on Elections Chief Juan Andres Bautista, and impeachment complaint being hatched against Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales will only make the congressmen lose their focus on pending bills.

"Ano na lang ang gagawin ng Kongreso? Marami pang mga mahahalagang issue o mga kailangang batas..." she said. "Ito ay pagwawaldas lang ng time dito sa Kongreso."

[What will Congress do now? There are more important issues or needed bills. It's just wasting the time of Congress]

'Yes vote'

The seven-member Makabayan bloc voted "yes" to adopt the report of the committee on justice dismissing the impeachment complaint against Bautista.

Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Zarate said their vote is consistent with their stand that the institutions should not be attacked just by criticizing President Rodrigo Duterte over human rights violations that resulted due to war on drugs, and other issues.

They said the President can soon control all the institutions as he will have the power to choose his next appointees had the impeachment cases prosper.

The Makabayan bloc, however, said they believe that the allegations against Bautista are "serious," and that he should be held accountable.

"Yung complaint admittedly raises serious allegations of corruption," Zarate said.

"Hindi natin sinasabi na hindi natin siya pananagutin dito. Lahat ng alegasyon ng korapsyon, kanino mang empleyado at opisyal ng pamahalaan ay kailangang managot at imbistigahan ng maayos," he further added.

[We are not saying that he will not be made accountable. All allegations of corruption to any employee or official of government must be held accountable and properly investigated.]

What is not acceptable to Makabayan, Zarate said, is that the administration is being "selective." He noted that allies of the administration are spared from any investigation.

Zarate said criminal cases should be filed against Bautista come December when he promised to resign. (SunStar Philippines)