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Duterte’s narcolist a ‘culpable violation of Constitution,’ impeachable offense — Akbayan

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Akbayan party-list Rep. Tom Villarin on Friday said President Rodrigo Duterte might have committed an impeachable act when he released the list of narcopoliticians on Thursday night.

“Now that President Duterte has revealed the names of alleged narco politicians, it is like putting the cart before the horse when ironically turning the wheels of justice and this act can be construed as a culpable violation of the Constitution,” the Magnificent 7 solon said in a statement.

“As President of the republic, Duterte’s powers are not absolute nor can he justify putting the state in order by infringing on an individual’s right to due process and presumption of innocence,” Villarin said.

“While the right to privacy is not absolute, there is no compelling reason for the state to violate it as we have a functioning court system where charges can be filed against these individuals. This could constitute an impeachable offense for culpable violation of the Constitution,” he said.

He noted that so far, “some of these elected officials on the list have been accused of grave misconduct before the Office of the Ombudsman and that no criminal complaints have been filed against them over their supposed drug links.”

Others have pending graft and corruption cases, he added.

“The chilling effect of public shaming might impress upon our people that government is serious in it’s campaign against illegal drugs but not at the expense of our Constitution,” Villarin said.

Akbayan party list “shares the concerns of media that government can’t play fast, loose with due process and the rule of law,” he said.

“We cannot allow trial by publicity especially coming during an election season where political violence heightens. With the list out, it is now open season for political assassinations. It has now become game for political rivals to assume that death warrants have been served against their opponents,” Villarin said.

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