Now, now. Before all you pro-Duterte friends and followers start sending me hate mail, please read on. I assure you it gets better than my title.
When I first heard President Rodrigo Duterte say that he recognizes the rule of law, I believed him. I still do.
He says a lot of things that upset people, but in most cases, he is just expressing his opinion and his opinion is not necessarily the law.
When he publicly gave the go-signal for the burial of Ferdinand E. Marcos in the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani, he was merely verbalizing his personal thoughts. He left it to the Philippine Supreme Court to make the final determination — which it did — and that led to the former strongman being finally laid to rest under the ground.
When he appointed Perfecto Yasay as his foreign secretary, of course he was of the opinion that the now ex-Cabinet official was best fit for the job. Unfortunately, questions and ultimately, admmission regarding his U.S. citizenship cost him his confirmation by the independent Commission on Appointments. Duterte did abide by the Commission’s decision. He really didn’t have a choice.
Amid the strong clamor for the impeachment of Vice President Leni Robredo which reached its boiling point with the recent treacherous video she sent to a U.N. Conference on Human Rights, Duterte has asked that all concerned back off and put aside the impeachment complaints. (One impeachment case has already been filed by the attorney for the Marcos family, Oliver Lozano, while another case is being readied by a group of lawyers and academics.)
But then again, Duterte’s call is his opinion. It is not really up to him whether the impeachment cases will proceed or not.
The cases are in accordance with the Constitution, and the appropriate Constitutional body that will decide on impeachment is the Legislative branch of government. It is the House of Representatives that will initiate the impeachment proceedings, and it is the Senate that will act as the jury for the impeachment trial.
As far as Politikal Pinoy is concerned, Duterte is not a dictator. He cannot dictate what happens with the impeachment cases against Robredo.
But we respect his opinion, and as elected president of this country, that’s as far as he can go regarding this issue.