MANILA, Philippines — Go for the truth.
This was the short reply of the usually outspoken President Duterte when asked about his expectations on the rolling out of the impeachment complaint against him at the House of Representatives.
"None. I expect them to go for the truth. Kung ano 'yung totoo, 'yun na 'yon (Whatever is the truth, then that's it)," Duterte told reporters in Hong Kong on Saturday.
Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano has filed an impeachment complaint against Duterte over the president's alleged involvement in the killing of thousands of drug suspects and for supposedly selling out the Philippines' national interest to China.
Lawmakers supportive of Duterte's impeachment need one third or 97 votes of the 292 House members to impeach him. If the president is impeached, the complaint will be sent to the Senate for trial.
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez has predicted that the complaint would be rejected, noting that the chamber is dominated by the president's allies.
House Majority Leader Rodolfo Farinas said the chamber may start discussing the impeachment complaint on Monday.
The complaint has been transmitted by the Speaker's office to the rules committee, which will then forward it to the justice committee.
Duterte's spokesman Ernesto Abella has said that any act to remove Duterte from office would be "an attempt to subvert the people's will.
The chief of the president's legal team, Salvador Panelo, said the impeachment complaint would distract lawmakers from important issues.