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Leni impeachment likely if House members would be bullied, threatened, says Bam

InterAksyon file photo of Sen. Bam Aquino
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines – Sen. Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino is not discounting the possibility of his party mate Vice President Leni Robredo getting impeached if House leaders flex their muscles.

“If they will bully and threaten the congressmen, like what happened in the Death Penalty vote, it could happen,” said Liberal Party’s Aquino in a statement released Sunday.

The senator was referring to House members holding committee chairmanships and other key positions who were were stripped of their posts after voteing against the death penalty bill.

[READ RELATED STORY: Gloria Arroyo, 11 House panel chief who voted vs death penalty lose posts]

On the looming impeachment move against Robredo, Aquino said that despite its likelihood, he still had “faith that my fellow legislators can still stand up to pressure that may be put on them and act fairly on the matter.”

“Our democratic institutions, especially the Senate, must show that we can operate justiciably without succumbing to intimidation and pressure,” he added.

Aquino said the impeachment threat against the Vice President after she sent a video message to the U.N. decrying the Duterte administration’s drug war tactics was “clearly” from the administration leaders’ “obsessive need to curb dissent or disagreement.”

The senator urged “democratic institutions” to “stand up and fight for our freedom and democracy while we still enjoy it.”

During the weekend, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez welcomed the suggestion by Department of Interior and Local Government Assistant Secretary Epimaco Densing to include economic sabotage in the impeachment complaint that would be filed against Robredo.

He said he was also amenable to the proposal of Solicitor General Jose Calida to include treason as among the grounds for impeachment.

Kaya nga pinag-aaralan kong mabuti…Tsaka meron ding anggulo ‘yong betrayal of public trust…Makakatulong ‘yon kasi malaki implication no’n eh kasi ‘yong ginawa n’ya sa United Nations…May epekto ‘yon sa ekonomiya ng bansa at maging sa turismo. Parang dini-discourage n’ya ang mga tao na pumunta rito sa ating bansa,” said Alvarez.

[That’s why I’m carefully studying it…And also there’s a betrayal of public trust angle…That will help because what she did in the United Nations has a big implication…it has an effect n the country’s economy and even tourism. It’s like she’s discouraging people to go to our country.]

[READ RELATED STORY: Alvarez to spearhead impeach move vs VP Robredo]

Alvarez said the chances of having Robredo impeached would have a bigger chance than the likelihood of having President Rodrigo Duterte charged and be declared guilty of serious offense.

[M]as malaki ang tyansa na ma-impeach si Leni kaysa kay Pangulong Duterte,” Alvarez said.