Report dismissing impeach complaint vs justices okayed

September 25, 2018

WITH an overwhelming 22 votes, the House committee on justice yesterday approved the report dismissing the consolidated impeachment complaint against seven justices of the Supreme Court (SC) for being insufficient in substance.

The panel chaired by Oriental Mindoro Rep. Salvador “Doy” Leachon junked the consolidated impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Teresita Leonardo de Castro, Associate Justices Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Francis Jardeleza, Noel Tijam, Andres Reyes Jr. and Alexander Gesmundo.

Earlier, the Leachon panel voted 23 against one  to dismiss the consolidated impeachment complaint after it did not meet the requirement of sufficiency in substance.

The House rules on impeachment provide that the complaint can be declared sufficient in substance “if there is a recital of facts constituting the offense charged and determinative of the jurisdiction of the committee.”

The committee endorsed their report for plenary dismissing the consolidated impeachment complaint.

Misamis Occidental Rep. Henry Oaminal said the complaint should be dismissed because it was only sufficient in form, but insufficient in substance.

The impeachment complaint was filed by Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat Jr., and Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano.

Earlier, Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ordered the Leachon panel to dispose of the complaints at the soonest possible time to ensure that the impeachment process will not hamper the House’s legislative mill.

Impeachment complainants accused De Castro, Peralta, Bersamin, Reyes, Jardeleza, Tijam, and Gesmundo of culpable violation of the Constitution.

The seven justices allegedly took away the powers of Congress to impeach when they voted in favor of granting the quo warranto petition against Sereno.

They also said that “De Castro, Peralta, Bersamin, Tijam and Jardeleza are also charged with betrayal of public trust for their refusal to inhibit themselves in the adjudication of the quo warranto petition despite their patent and continuing ill will, bias and prejudice against Sereno as shown by their respective testimonies before the House committee on justice and their statements during the oral arguments in the quo warranto petition.”