Press Release
July 2, 2019


The statement of Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Police General Oscar Albayalde that they are "ready to arrest those who would want to impeach President Rodrigo Duterte if they see that these people have violated the law" is extremely disheartening.

Is it now the job of the PNP to intimidate people who only want to exercise their constitutional and democratic rights to hold our leaders accountable?

May I remind the PNP Chief that impeachment is a constitutional and democratic process that any Filipino citizen can avail of to exact accountability from impeachable public officials who may have seriously violated the Constitution and betrayed the public trust. It is part of our system of checks and balances to curtail the grave abuse of power and preserve the rule of law. To take part in it is not a crime nor an invitation for authorities to build a case against those who support such an initiative.

PNP Chief Albayalde's remarks are meant as a deterrent. They create a chilling effect, and send the message to those who would want to avail of the impeachment process to hold the President accountable that they will be subjected to police investigations and the possible filing of charges. Why would the PNP Chief even insinuate possible violations on the part of those who criticize the President, if not to intimidate and threaten them?

Whether or not the President has committed impeachable offenses is the task of the legislature to scrutinize and determine based on a verified impeachment complaint.

What is important is that any citizen who may want to avail of this constitutional and democratic process should be able to do so free from any form of intimidation and persecution. That is the job of the PNP: not to serve as the President's praetorian guard, but to ensure the public safety of citizens as we engage in the business of democracy.

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