ACT-CIS Party-list Rep. Erwin Tulfo on Thursday categorically denied any discussions or plans for the impeachment of Vice President Sara Duterte related to the controversial issue of confidential and intelligence funds (CIF), dismissing such notions as mere intrigue.
In his capacity as Deputy Majority Leader for Communications, Tulfo said that he reached out to key leaders of the House of Representatives, including Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez, and confirmed that there was no substance to the purported impeachment discussions.
“This morning, I reached out to leaders, including Cong. Zaldy (Co) and the Speaker, to address rumors circulating in Congress. However, there is no substance to these discussions; no such thing has been deliberated among party leaders or the House leadership,” Tulfo told reporters in an interview.
Co chairs the powerful House Committee on Appropriations, which recently opted to redirect the CIF from certain civilian agencies, such as the Office of the Vice President and the Department of Education, to bolster the budgets of intelligence and security forces responsible for addressing escalating threats in the West Philippine Sea.
On Thursday, Deputy Minority Leader and ACT Teachers Party-list Rep. France Castro was quoted in media reports stating that discussions were circulating within the House regarding the potential impeachment of Vice President Duterte.
However, Castro quickly clarified that these talks were not being taken seriously as the purported discussions on impeachment were merely deliberations among certain congressmen and not a substantial move against the Vice President.
In response to media reports, Tulfo said: “I’m unsure where Cong. Castro got this information, and upon inquiry, the leadership was equally surprised. I confirmed with my superiors, and there’s no such discussion.”
He further pointed out that, at present, there is no impeachable offense attributed to the Vice President, and any future considerations would depend on the presence of valid grounds such as violation of the Constitution, treason, or loss of public trust.
In reference to future possibilities, Tulfo emphasized the need to assess the substance of any potential impeachment proceedings.
“Perhaps, in the future, with additional facts, details may emerge, altering the situation. However, currently, there’s no substance, and it requires further review. As per the leadership, there’s no discussion or plan for impeachment when we return on Monday,” Tulfo insisted.
Tulfo also rejected the idea of unity in the legislative chamber either against the Vice President or in favor of Speaker Romualdez.
“The unity is focused on moving the country forward, following the directive of President Marcos to stand together,” Tulfo pointed out.
He added: “The goal is to unite for the people and progress, not against Sara Duterte or her family. The Speaker’s instructions before leaving for the US were to continue working and passing laws needed by the Executive Department.”