Palace: Duterte critics will not be arrested

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo| photo

President Rodrigo Duterte’s critics will not be arrested for filing an impeachment complaint against the Chief Executive, Malacañang assured on Tuesday, July 2, after Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Oscar Albayalde said the PNP was ready to arrest those who file an impeachment complaint against Duterte if they commit any violation of the law.

According to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, Duterte’s threat to jail his critics was just an “expression of displeasure, disappointment.”

“It is a righteous indignation. He could not understand why critics and detractors cannot appreciate what he’s doing. He’s doing this because he is following the directive of the Constitution to serve and protect the people. We want to avoid any armed [struggles] between two countries because that will endanger the security of the nation,” Panelo said.

Last week, Duterte challenged his critics pushing for his impeachment and threatened to jail them should they file an impeachment complaint against him.

The president has been drawing criticism for taking a softer stance over the sinking of a Filipino boat at the Recto (Reed) Bank on June 9 as well as for saying that he would not ban China from fishing in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.

Albayalde, meanwhile, clarified his statement and said that it would be an immediate arrest.

“There should be an investigation. You cannot just point to anybody and then get them. There will always be an investigation before you can make an arrest,” the PNP chief said. 

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at [email protected].

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