Impeachment move vs Duterte seen as propaganda: analyst

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 16 2017 03:24 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte. File photo

MANILA- The impeachment complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte can be viewed simply as a propaganda, given his popularity as a leader, a political analyst said Thursday.

Political analyst and Institute for Political and Electoral Reform Executive Director Ramon Casiple, said nothing is surprising about the impeachment complaint since it has been a staple in Philippine politics.

"Well, it’s been there ever since the campaign period. It has been part of the staple of political battles in the past administration so there’s no surprise there," Casiple said in a phone interview on ANC's "Dateline Philippines."

Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano on Thursday filed an impeachment complaint against Duterte over killings linked to his war on drugs and allegations he kept secret bank accounts.

Alejano, an ally of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV who is one of Duterte's most vocal critics in the Senate, accused the President of culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of public trust, graft and corruption, bribery, and other high crimes.

"The political context is not really favorable with the popularity of the President so more important impact will be propaganda," Casiple said.

Casiple thinks the Magdalo party-list is anticipating a "breakup" in the supermajority chamber and is trying to "impact" it by influencing public opinion as a "strategy to convince others."

"I think the more important objective is to prepare the camp for a political attack on the President because of the political battle that’s going on," Casiple said.

He added that in an impeachment process, the more important question would be on the number of votes than the pieces of evidence against the official.

"In a political process such as the impeachment, the question of the minimum amount of evidence required is not really rigorous because there’s a question of votes. So if there are enough votes to impeach, the basis does not really matter," he said.

Malacañang meanwhile thinks that the impeachment complaint "seems like part of a bigger scheme" as it "outlines" the destabilization against the government.

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the filing of the complaint seems to be " too coordinated than it is coincidental... with acts of trying to discredit the admin, trying to throw it in doubt."