Supporters of President Rodrigo Duterte are now calling for the impeachment of Senator Leila de Lima. This is after the former Justice secretary asked for a Senate probe to investigate the series of police killing of suspected drug pushers in the country. However, the online petition to impeach Sen. de Lima has been deleted. Here’s probably why.
“Everyone expects for change and this change cannot be true or fulfill if Leila de Lima still standing as the senador of this country holding the committee on justice.” A certain Joshua Jireh Cinco wrote on his petition at Change.org to remove Sen.de Lima from office, adding that restoration of death penalty is the only way to suppress illegal drugs and crime.
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De Lima, who ran for senator under the Liberal Party (LP) in this year’s election and landed on the 12th spot with 14,144,070 votes, came under fire last week after she announced that she she will be seeking a legislative probe on news reports of killings of drug suspects. She noted that these incidents can lead to a pattern of summary executions.
Last Monday, July 11, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said that Sen. de Lima’s proposal no basis other than speculation and conjecture. According to him, the newly-elected senator (who became the head of CHR (Commission on Human Rights) from 2008 to 2010) may just want to “discredit” the on-going anti-illegal drug operations.
On the same day, Solicitor General Jose Calida questioned Sen. Leila de Lima’s proposal, adding that it is not necessary. He also slammed the neophyte senator, saying that when she was the Justice secretary, she was not able to curb illegal drug problems. As a response, Sen. de Lima said she is not intimidated and will still pursue the investigation.
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Shortly after the said online petition was created, tons of Duterte supporters rushed to sign it. It had 5,945 supporters before it was deleted. The site says that the petitioner deleted it as per request by supporters, but did not mention why. Nevertheless, we at TN think that someone has told him about the existing law on impeachment in the Philippines.
Article XI, Section 2 of the 1987 Constitution says:
“The President, the Vice-President, the Members of the Supreme Court, the Members of the Constitutional Commissions, and the Ombudsman may be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes, or betrayal of public trust. All other public officers and employees may be removed from office as provided by law, but not by impeachment.”
To expel a member of Congress and Senate (like Senator Leila de Lima), it should be decided by two-thirds vote of its members. Local elected officials in question can be removed from their posts through recall, while all government officials under the executive department may be dismissed by the incumbent president of the Philippines.