SENATOR Paulo Benigno “Bam” Aquino challenged all democratic institutions to fight for freedom and democracy, and resist intimidation and pressure of the Duterte administration.
The young Aquino, a nephew of former President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, issued the plea amidst the reported plan of the pro-Duterte administration House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to file an impeachment complaint against his fellow Liberal Party member Vice President Leni Robredo for allegedly embarrassing the Philippine government in the international community.
Aquino said the senate must show that it can operate without succumbing to intimidation and pressure which has become the hallmark of the Duterte administration. He expressed fears that members of the House of Representatives will again be bullied and threatened to support Robredo’s impeachment just like they were forced to support the “death penalty vote.”
“I have faith that my fellow senators can still stand up to the pressure and act fairly on the matter. Clearly, this reaction from leaders of this administration is coming from the obsessive need to curb dissent or disagreement,” Aquino said.
Earlier, Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said there is a possibility that Robredo will be impeached if Alvarez pushes through with his plan.
Meanwhile, members of the Liberal Party described as “baseless and orchestrated lies” the accusations linking Vice President Robredo to moves to undermine the administration.
The LP stressed that Robredo is not and will not be part of any destabilization moves. It added that President Rodrigo Duterte himself had declared that Robredo had nothing to do with destabilization efforts against him.
But on Sunday, Duterte apparently made an about face when he said that he will not be surprised if the Vice President is involve in the reported destabilization plot against his administration.