Can Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s term as president be cut short by impeachment? Albay Governor Joey Salceda has done the math based on the current unofficial count of election results and concluded that such a scenario won’t fly.
In a Facebook post, Salceda explained that the prospect of a successful impeachment lies mostly on whether it would prosper in the Senate than in the House of Representatives.
Judging from the party affiliations of incumbent senators, as well as those in the “Magic 12” circle of winners in the senatorial race, Salceda said Duterte can already count on 10 lawmakers to back him up in case politikos in the House wants him impeached.
With 10 senators seen to be friendly to Duterte, any move to impeach him will fail as its proponents can’t get the three-fourths vote— equivalent to 18— needed to remove him from office.
The Senate is composed of 24 senators and having 10 “Duterte-friendly” senators only leaves 14 politikos who could vote for his impeachment.
Those seen not to vote in favor of Duterte’s impeachment are members of what Salceda branded as the Nationalist People’s Coalition-Grace Poe group composed of incumbents Poe, Francis Escudero, Antonio Trillanes IV, Loren Legarda, Tito Sotto, and newcomers/returning personalities Sherwin Gatchalian, Richard Gordon and Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri.
Trillanes and Escudero supported Poe’s presidential bid, while Gatchalian, Gordon and Zubiri were part of her senatorial slate.
Also seen to join the NPC-Poe coalition in thwarting moves to impeach Duterte is his own party mate from PDP-Laban, Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, and running mate Alan Peter Cayetano.
So who does Salceda, a former Liberal Party (LP) stalwart, think could support impeachment moves against the presumptive President-elect?
Obviously, there are his former party mates from LP— Bam Aquino, Ralph Recto, Franklin Drilon, and new (or returning) faces Panfilo Lacson, Francis Pangilinan, Leila de Lima, Risa Hontiveros and Joel Villanueva.
All the aforementioned newly-minted senators ran under the LP-led Koalisyon ng Daang Matuwid in the elections.
Then there are also those whom Salceda branded to be part of the “middle forces” who could be persuaded to join an attempt to impeach Duterte.
The group is composed of Sonny Angara of the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP), Cynthia Villar of the Nacionalista Party, and the following stalwarts from the United Nationalist Alliance: Nancy Binay, JV Ejercito, Gringo Honasan and Manny Pacquiao.
It is worth noting, however, that LDP endorsed Duterte’s presidential bid while Villar’s husband, former senator Manny Villar, virtually showed his support for the mayor’s candidacy when he allowed himself to be photographed wearing a pro-Duterte baller.
Given the new composition of the Senate, Salceda has concluded: “Impeachment is improbable, also therefore Plan B is cute but fictional.”
The so-called “Plan B” refers to the LP’s plan to have Duterte impeached so he would be replaced by Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, who currently enjoys a slim margin over Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. in the vice presidential race.