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’ Newsroom Ngayon.
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 Constitution.
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?”
Presidential Spokesman 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 country. “He cannot understand why people are against his policy,” Panelo told reporters.