‘Numbers cannot dictate what is right or what is wrong’ – Belmonte
A Quezon City lawmaker declared on Thursday that determination of right from wrong could not be decided by mere numbers, as the committee on justice at the House of Representatives decided to proceed with the impeachment complaint filed against Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
Quezon City District 6 Rep. Kit Belmonte, one of the only two lawmakers from the Liberal Party (LP) who voted against the sufficiency of the impeachment case versus Sereno, criticized the House panel’s ruling, which other lawmakers also considered as done in haste.
“Kaunti lang tayo, pero naniniwala kaming hindi nadadaan sa paramihan ng nagtaas ng kamay o palakasan ng boses ang tama at mali,” Belmonte said.
(We maybe few, but we believe that what is right and what is wrong cannot be dictated by how many hands were raised or whose voices were louder.)
The other LP lawmaker who voted against the sufficiency of the impeachment case against Sereno was Dinagat Rep. Arlene “Kaka” Bag-ao.
In a statement, the LP noted that the impeachment complaint filed by Atty. Larry Gadon has been dismissed as “insufficient” by various analysts, including former Ateneo School of Government Dean Atty. Antonio La Viña, who even called the complaint “garbage” in a recent tweet.
It added that Sereno has also received several statements of support from the business, legal, and evangelical communities.
“Our role is to dissent when we see something wrong. In a democracy, we must never be silent and we must always resist being silenced,” Bag-ao said.
On Thursday, the House committee on justice, chaired by Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, found sufficient grounds to impeach Sereno, voting 25-2.
Lawmakers allied with President Rodrigo Duterte are called “super majority” in Congress. /kga
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