In an interview to President Rodrigo Duterte during the inauguration of the Bicol International Airport, he dared senator Leila de Lima to file an impeachment case against him for defending the policemen who killed Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa.
“They can go ahead. Bakit pa mas maraming daldal? Sige na, impeach na… Hayaan mo sila. Sige impeachable, go ahead,” Duterte said.
Duterte said that he will protect and still believes the side of the Philippine National Police (PNP)-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Eastern Visayas.
Meanwhile, De Lima said that Duterte’s statement was considered a “betrayal of public trust.”
According to GMA News Online, Chief presidential legal counsel Secretary Salvado Panelo said Duterte was only protecting the members of the PNP.
“Why should it be an impeachable offense? Is it even an offense? It is a duty being done by president?” Panelo said.
“The duty of the President is to protect the members of the PNP who are enforcing the law, his instructions,” he added.
Panelo also reitereted that the NBI results are yet to affirmed a court.
“The NBI results show that the NBI does not interfere with any government agency doing their work, eh di sana iba ang resulta. But it doesn’t mean NBI is correct, because the courts have to decide whether they are correct or not,” he said.
“The presumption of innocence applies to all criminals in this case. Moreover, the assumption of regularity has yet to be overcome, it is the duty of the President to provide and help hispeople to defend himself,” he added.