Panelo downplays impeachment talks vs. PRRD

MANILA -- Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo believes a bid to oust President Rodrigo R. Duterte is unlikely to prosper in Congress as impeachment is a numbers game.

This came after Panelo was asked to comment about interpretations that the Chief Executive's anger in a recent interview shows fear of impeachment.

"How can a President be scared with impeachment? Impeachment is a numbers game. (It's) super majority in the Congress," he said in a chance interview Friday.

"Like what I've explained, he was incensed because he cannot understand why these people who are against his policies cannot understand and even visualize that what he is doing is for the good of the country. Papakamatay na nga iyong mama, hindi pa nila ma-appreciate. Kaya siya inis na inis (The man almost wants to kill himself and yet they still cannot appreciate his efforts. This is why he is really pissed off)," Panelo said.

He noted that only a culpable violation warrants an impeachment.

"How can he even be violating? He’s even going beyond the provision. The provision says you protect the mineral, the maritime. What he's actually doing as he says it, ‘Ano ba kayo? Hindi lang nga iyon ang pinoproteksyunan ko. Iyong buong Pilipinas, nga eh. Kasi hindi natin magagamit iyong gusto ninyong i-protect ko kung wala na tayong lahat.’ Iyon ang punto niya ('I'm protecting not just the resources. I’m protecting the entire Philippines. We can't use those resources if we're all gone.' That's what he's trying to point out," Panelo said.

"Malakas ang loob ng Presidente, because alam niya na tama ang ginagawa niya and Constitutionally feasible (The President is confident because he knows he is doing the right thing and that it is Constitutionally feasible)," he added.

Critics, including former foreign affairs secretary Albert del Rosario, earlier warned that allowing the Chinese to fish in the Philippines’ territorial waters violates the 1987 Constitution.

The former top diplomat said the Chief Executive's failure to defend the country's territory, including its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), violates the Constitution and is a basis for impeachment. (PNA)

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