Two Philippine senators have said President Rodrigo Duterte’s admission that he used to personally kill suspected criminals when mayor of Davao city is grounds for impeachment, informs The Guardian.
Senator Leila de Lima, Duterte’s foremost domestic critic, and Senator Richard Gordon, who heads the senate justice committee, said the president’s comments provided a legal avenue for his ousting.
But justice minister Vitaliano Aguirre waved away Duterte’s comments as “hyperbole”.
“He always exaggerates just to put his message across,” Aguirre said, adding that even if Duterte had killed, he did not necessarily break the law.
Any move to impeach Duterte is unlikely to succeed. Not only does he command huge domestic support for his bloody war on drugs, the firebrand nicknamed “the Punisher” also has allies in the lower and upper house of congress.
Although only a one-thirds vote in the house of representatives is needed to start the process of of impeachment, conviction requires a two-thirds vote in the senate.