House panel rejects impeach suit vs High Court justices

September 12, 2018

AS expected, lawmakers from the majority bloc rejected the consolidated impeachment complaint against Supreme Court justices for being insufficient in substance.

Voting 23-1, the House Committee on Justice dismissed the case filed against Chief Justice Teresita Leonardo De Castro and six  Associate Justices.

It was Siquijor Rep. Ramon Rocamora who made a motion to declare the complaint sufficient in substance. He lost in voting.

Complainants Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat Jr. and Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano stressed that the magistrates violated the Constitution when they voted in favor of the quo warranto petition ousting former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

Aside from De Castro, also cleared by the committee were Justices Lucas Bersamin, Francis Jardeleza; Andres Reyes Jr.; Alexander Gesmundo; Noel Tijam and Diosdado Peralta.

Last week, the panel declared the complaint sufficient in form.’

The complainants said the justices are guilty of culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust when they did not respect the jurisdiction of the Congress in ousting an impeachable official of the government like Chief Justice.

Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo  attended yesterday’s proceeding but immediately left during the debate.