MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives justice committee will take up the impeachment complaint filed against President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday.
Oriental Mindoro Representative Reynaldo Umali, the committee chairman, said they will discuss and decide whether the complaint filed by Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano is sufficient in form and in substance.
The complaint accuses Duterte of mass murder and crimes against humanity in connection with his war on drugs, as well as corruption, betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution.
There is little expectation the complaint will make it past the overwhelmingly pro-Duterte House and reach trial by the Senate.
Some observers, however, have said killing the complaint could make it easier to bring the charges against Duterte before the International Criminal Court on the grounds of government’s refusal or inability to address the matter.
Should the justice committee deem the complaint insufficient in form, it will return this, along with its explanation, to the secretary general of the chamber within three session days. The secretary general will in turn return the complaint and the committee’s resolution, also within three session days of receiving the document from the panel.
But if sufficient in form, the committee will then determine if it is sufficient in substance, meaning if there is a recital of facts constituting the offense charged and determinative of the jurisdiction of the committee.
If the committee finds substance insufficient, it shall dismiss the complaint and submit its report.
If the impeachment complaint is killed, Duterte no complaint can be filed against him until March next year since House limit the filing of complaints to only one within a year’s period.