Philippine Panel Dismisses Impeachment Complaint Against Duterte

A panel of Philippine lawmakers on Monday dismissed an impeachment complaint against the country’s controversial president, Rodrigo Duterte. The congressional committee unanimously agreed that the complaint lacked substance, in what was the expected outcome of the meeting. Gary Alejano, a member of a minority bloc, filed the complaint. He accused Duterte of betraying public trust by supporting summary executions of Filipinos in a “war on drugs,” as well as concealing assets and other charges. “I assure you if we allow the president that kind of power in violation of the constitution... If we allow it further, it will be a dictatorship,” Alejano told reporters. He was furious at the panel’s decision, arguing that there was extensive evidence from witnesses and survivors of extrajudicial killings in Duterte’s campaign. The committee, he said, was guided by the president’s popularity and that the panel will be responsible for Duterte’s dictatorship taking shape. “We are sending the message to the president, ‘Yes, you continue. We will allow you,’” he added.