Tag Archives: donald trump

US Senate acquits Trump on both articles of impeachment


WASHINGTON — United States President Donald Trump was acquitted on Wednesday afternoon by the Senate after the chamber voted down both articles of impeachment against him that the House approved late last year.

Senators voted 52 to 48 to reject the first charge of abuse of power, and 53 to 47 against the second charge of obstruction of Congress.
Senator Mitt Romney, a Republican from Utah and the 2012 GOP presidential nominee, broke from the party by voting “guilty” on the abuse of power charge against Trump, becoming the first senator in the US history to convict a president from the same party in an impeachment trial.
No Democrats voted “not guilty” on the two articles of impeachment.
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who presided over the Senate trial of Trump’s impeachment, announced the votes, saying that they are not enough to convict the president and remove him from office.
The acquittal was widely expected as Republicans largely unified during the impeachment proceeding control the Senate, making it almost impossible for the 67-vote conviction threshold to be reached.
Trump, in a tweet after the votes wrapped up, said he will be making a public statement Thursday noon at the White House to discuss what he calls the nation’s “VICTORY on the Impeachment Hoax.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who led the Congress’ impeachment drive against Trump, said in a statement that the president and Senate Republicans “have normalized lawlessness and rejected the system of checks and balances.”
The Pelosi-led House impeached Trump in December last year after an inquiry triggered by a whistleblower complaint that raised concerns about the White House’s interactions with Ukraine.
Trump was alleged to have pressured his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, into launching investigations that could politically benefit him by withholding military aid from Ukraine. Furthermore, the White House allegedly tried to cover it up.
The president has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing or a “quid pro quo” with Ukraine.
The White House stonewalled the House impeachment inquiry, accusing Democrats of an unfair process.
Bitter partisan wrestling continued in the Senate trial of Trump’s impeachment as Republicans and Democrats were sharply divided on whether to allow subpoenas for witnesses and documents till a failed motion last week kicked off an endgame.
According to the US Constitution, the House shall have the “sole Power of Impeachment,” while the Senate shall have the “sole Power to try all Impeachments.”
Conviction can only happen in the 100-member Senate and requires at least two-thirds of its members to vote in favor of at least one article of impeachment after a trial.
Currently, the Senate has 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats, and two independents caucusing with Democrats.
No sitting US president has ever been removed from office through impeachment. (Xinhua)

Duterte to side with US if Iran ‘intentionally’ harms OFWs

President Rodrigo Duterte will not hesitate to side with the United States (US), the Philippines’ long-time ally, in the event that Iran “intentionally” attacks Filipino workers in the Gulf state, Malacañang said on Tuesday.


During the 45th Cabinet meeting held at Malacañan Palace on Monday night, the President gave a “friendly caution” that the Philippines will not take a “neutral” stance with regard to the rising tensions between the US and Iran.

Duterte made it clear that his administration will “side with the Americans,” in case Iran deliberately harms overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the Middle East, Panelo said.

“Hindi tayo magiging (We will not be) neutral. The President was very specific in saying last night that if the Filipinos are harmed, he will side with the Americans,” Panelo told Palace reporters in a press briefing.

“If they will harm the Filipinos, then the President will not sit down idly and watch,” he added.

Tensions between US and Iran continue to escalate after Qassem Soleimani, top Iranian military commander, was killed in a drone strike carried out by the US in Baghdad, Iraq last Friday.

Iran vowed revenge following Soleimani’s death, but the US also warned of attacking around 52 Iranian sites.

On Monday, the President sought the repatriation of OFWs in the Middle East, as he feared Filipino workers there might be put in peril amid the conflict between the US and Iran.

Duterte also asked Congress to prepare a “standby fund” that could be used for the possible repatriation of Filipino workers in the Middle East.

The Middle East hosts about 1.2 million OFWs.

The President’s latest pronouncement came, amid possibility that Iran might harm Filipinos working in the Arab nations, considering that the Philippines is an ally of the US, Panelo explained.

“Ang sinasabi ni Presidente, huwag niyong idamay ang mga Pilipino diyan sa away ninyo sa America kasi ‘di ba (The President is telling them not to involve Filipinos in their fight against the America because you know), we’re supposed to be allies of the Americans, and the enemies might also attack not only the Americans but the allies of the Americans,” he said.

“Kung papatayin mo ang mga Pilipino, ibig sabihin hindi tayo iimik? Eh ang kalaban nila ang Amerikano. Kaya nila gagawin ‘yun dahil kakampi tayo ng Amerikano (If they kill Filipinos, does it mean we will not make a move? Their enemies are the Americans, not us. If they kill Filipinos, that’s because we’re an ally of Americans),” Panelo added.

The Philippines established its diplomatic relations with the US in July 1946. The two nations also signed a Mutual Defense Treaty in August 1951 that serves as a foundation for a robust, balanced, and responsive security partnership.

Panelo, however, said the Commander-in-Chief failed to talk about the Philippine troops’ possible cooperation with the American forces, in case the situation in the Middle East exacerbates.

Meantime, diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Iran started in January 1964.

Don’t harm OFWs

Panelo said the primary concern of the President is the safety of the OFWs in the Middle East.

He stressed that Duterte’s only appeal for Iran is to ensure that the lives of the Filipino workers in the Gulf state would not be jeopardized.

The Palace official pinned hope that Iran would heed Duterte’s plea to protect OFWs amid its tensions with the US.

“He (Duterte) is expressing his concern for the safety of his countrymen, which is foremost in his mind,” he said.

“Ang sinasabi lang ni Presidente, huwag niyong idamay ang aking mga kababayan diyan. Eh most likely naman, palagay ko naman hindi nila idadamay (The President is telling them not to harm our countrymen there. Most likely, perhaps, they would not hurt them),” Panelo added.

Panelo said Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers Abdullah Mamao and former special envoy and incumbent Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu are set to fly to the Middle East on Tuesday to relay the President’s grave concerns over the safety of OFWs there.

Cimatu was tasked by Duterte to meet with officials of the Arab countries and discuss the Philippines’ plan to repatriate Filipino workers there, while Mamao was directed to deliver the President’s special messages to the Iranian and Iraqi governments.

The messages to Iran and Iraq contained the President’s expression of concern over the safety of the Filipinos working in the two host countries, and conveyed his urgent desire that “no Filipinos be harmed in the course of the ongoing conflicts,” Panelo noted in a statement. (PNA)

US VS. IRAN UPDATE: Trump warns Iraq of ‘very big’ sanctions if US forces expelled

Trump warns Iraq of ‘very big’ sanctions if US forces expelled

WASHINGTON DC — If the Iraqi government forces the removal of US forces, Baghdad will face “sanctions like they’ve never seen before,” President Donald Trump said Sunday.Trump said the prospective economic penalties would far outweigh the crippling sanctions the US has imposed on… Read More


Iraqi parliament decides to expel US troops

BAGHDAD — The Iraqi parliament on Sunday decided to expel American troops from the country.In an extraordinary session, the parliament unanimously decided to send the US and foreign troops out of the country.In a statement, the parliament said the implementation of the decision is within the… Read More


US targeting 52 Iranian sites if Tehran attacks: Trump

WASHINGTON DC — US President Donald Trump threatened Saturday to hit Iranian targets for any attacks on Americans or the US in the wake of the killing of top Iranian general by an American airstrike.”Iran has been nothing but problems for many years. Let this serve as a WARNING that if Iran strikes… Read More


UN chief urges restraint after US kills Iranian general

WASHINGTON — UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for all parties to exercise “maximum restraint” in the Persian Gulf after the US assassinated a top Iranian general in Iraq.Guterres “is deeply concerned with the recent escalation,” his spokesman Farhan Haq said in a statement.”This is a… Read More

DUTERTE ORDERS AFP: Prepare air, naval assets for MidEast evacuations


In the wake of rising tension between the United States and Iran, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has been ordered by President Rodrigo R. Duterte to prepare its air and naval assets which could be used in the evacuation of overseas Filipino workers in the Middle East should hostilities erupt in the region.

This, according to Department of National Defense (DND) spokesperson Arsenio Andolong in a message to reporters Sunday night.
SECURING OVERSEAS WORKERS. President Rodrigo Duterte convenes national security officials at the Malacañan Palace on January 5, 2020. During the meeting, the President discussed contingency measures to ensure the safety of Filipinos based in the Middle East amid tension between the United States and Iran. (Presidential Photo)
“The President has tasked the AFP to prepare its air and naval assets to evacuate and bring home our countrymen if and when open hostilities erupt in the Middle East that may endanger their lives,” Andolong said.
He said this order came after the Chief Executive called for an emergency meeting with DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, newly-appointed AFP chief-of-staff, Lt. Gen. Felimon T. Santos, Jr., commanders of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, Philippine National Police chief, and their principal staffs on Sunday afternoon.
The meeting, he said, was conducted to ensure the safety of Filipinos working in the Middle East especially those deployed in Iran and Iraq whose well-being could be endangered in the event of open hostilities.
“The sole agenda was how to ensure the safety of our countrymen in the Middle East especially those in Iraq and Iran as the tension between the US and Iran rises. There are 1,600 and 6,000 Filipinos in Iran and Iraq, respectively,” Andolong said.
Tensions escalated in the Middle East after top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani was killed in a drone strike in Baghdad, Iraq on January 3 which was reportedly ordered by US President Donald Trump.
Tehran vowed a fierce retaliation against those responsible for the death of Soleimani. (PNA)