HONOLULU – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said Monday (Philippine time) that he does not want Vice President Sara Duterte impeached following reports that some members of the House of Representatives were hatching a plan for her removal.
Speaking to reporters here before flying back to Manila after his week-long trip to the US, the president said they were closely monitoring developments in the alleged impeachment plans against Duterte, his running mate in last year’s national elections.
“We don’t want her to be accused. She does not deserve to be impeached,” said Marcos. “So we will make sure that this is something that we pay close attention to.”
But he admitted that impeachment complaints against senior government officials were no longer new.
Dismissing rumors of a possible rift between him and Duterte, the president described his relationship with her as “excellent.”
“About [a] on a professional level, I only have good things to say about the work she has done at the Department of Education”, he said, adding: “On a very personal level, we get along very well”.
ACT teachers representative France Castro previously said there were “informal discussions” among her colleagues about a possible impeachment case against Duterte.
But House Speaker Martin Romualdez and other lower house leaders immediately denied the rumors. “I’m not aware of anything. Nothing filed, no news of it,” Romualdez, Marcos’s cousin, told reporters.
“I don’t know their sources, but there’s nothing imminent, nothing in general,” he added.
In addition to Romualdez, Majority Leader Rep. Manuel José Dalipe described the report as “fake news,” while another lawmaker said there had been no such discussions between party leaders or House staff.
Castro later clarified that the alleged impeachment negotiations against Duterte were “premature.”
The President also denied that there was already a “crack” in UniTeam, the coalition that gave him and Duterte a landslide victory in last year’s elections.
‘This is an illusion’
“That’s not true. Let’s just look at the political developments in the last few months,” Marcos said, pointing out that the politicians joined the Philippine Federal Party and the Lakas Muslim Christian Democrats.
“In fact, it has become bigger and stronger than it was before. So this is an illusion,” she added.
Asked to comment on her relationship with Marcos on Sunday, Duterte said she and Marcos were “fine.”
“I believe I still have the confidence of the president,” she told reporters, although she said her office was looking into reports that there was talk of impeachment against her in the Chamber of Deputies.