PNP to arrest ‘erring’ impeachment filers vs. President Duterte

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Those who would file an impeachment complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte will be arrested if they commit any violation of the law, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Monday.

“Well of course, if that’s the order of the President and we see that they violate the law, why not?” PNP chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde, told reporters on Monday.

The country’s top cop made the remark when asked for a comment on the statement of Duterte that he would order the arrest of people who would want him impeached over his statements allegedly favoring China instead of defending the Constitution and its provision on sovereignty.

The PNP chief, however, clarified that the arrest would not be immediate.

“There should be an investigation. You cannot just point to anybody and then get them. There will always be an investigation before you can make an arrest,” said Albayalde.

Albayalde said among the violations of the law that may be used to arrest those who would file an impeachment complaint against the President are sedition and libel.

He also clarified that the PNP has yet to receive instructions from the President regarding the matter.

Earlier, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo believes a bid to oust President 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.

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