President Rodrigo Duterte has
threatened to jail opponents if they try to impeach him over the presence of
Chinese fishing vessels in Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
“Impeach me? I will jail you
all. Try me,” he said after Senator Bong Go’s oath-taking late Thursday.
“Do that and I will tell you, I am challenging you to do it. You really
want to force my hand into it? Son of a b**** do it.”
Duterte vented out his anger after
Christian Monsod, a member of the 1986 Constitutional Commission, stated earlier
that the President could be impeached on grounds of culpable violation of the
Constitution or betrayal of public trust in an interview on CNN Philippines’
Supreme Court Senior Associate
Justice Antonio Carpio echoed Monsod’s views and said that it is illegal to
allow China to fish in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, as mandated by
The irate President proceeded to
trash the Philippine Constitution to reporters referring to it as toilet paper:
“I will go there and tell them to get
out because this is the Constitution. They will tell you: You need toilet
paper? Use that. I tell you, if you present to me a Constitution like that? And
we have this ruckus claiming the same place in our jurisdiction? I tell you, if
you have nothing, use your Constitution. Because that means war. And that piece
of paper, the Constitution, becomes meaningless, with no spirit, except
desperation, agony and sadness.”
He stressed that invoking the 2016
arbitral ruling will make the country suffer the same fate as Vietnam.
“Look at Vietnam. They asserted
their coastal lines. They attacked the Coast Guard of China. They got a bloody
nose. That’s what I should do? When my frigates are new?”
Salvador Panelo defended Duterte by saying that the President ranted out of
frustration because people fail to see he only wants what’s best for the
“He cannot understand why people are against his
policy,” Panelo told reporters.