Malacanang spokesperson Salvador Panelo’s explanation to ABS-CBN “veteran” telejournalist Karen Davila’s repeated questions on why Congress was sitting on her employer’s case is simple and consistent: that it is Congress’s sole business and none of Malacanang’s. She should, instead, ask them herself.
Panelo speaks only for Malacanang and not Congress. The legislature is an independent branch of the Philippine government and Malacanang does not presume to dictate the conduct of its business. Likewise, Malacanang under Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte can seek to influence them, but that’s about it. How Congress responds to said influence is still their accountability alone.
Davila clearly did not do her homework before she met with Panelo. If she did, she would even have come across this old story of how Duterte’s predecessor, former President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III strongly pushed for the late former Chief Justice Renato Corona’s impeachment.
Aquino reportedly had one-on-one talks with leaders of the coalition.
House Committee on Justice Chairman Niel Tupas was tasked to finalize the impeachment complaint, while House Speaker Sonny Belmonte and Majority Leader Boyet Gonzales had to ensure that the impeachment complaint will get no less than 95 signatories from the ranks of congressmen.
Indeed, then representatives of the House testified to a “furious” President Aquino demanding that the lodging of the impeachment complaint be fast-tracked and that the compliance of the 188 signatories was largely an exercise “to appease an angry President”.
If there is a president that exerted undue influence on Congress of the sort Davila was insinuating Duterte is engaging in, it is no less than her preferred president, BS Aquino.
Davila deserves to be called out for the dishonesty in her broadcast “journalism”. She does a disservice both to her employer and that of her beleaguered profession which now suffers a crisis of credibility because of people like her.
Webmaster of Get Real Philippines