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House panel vows speedy proceedings of impeach raps vs magistrates

/ 03:44 PM August 24, 2018

Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo De Castro, Lucas Bersamin and Diosdado Peralta. INQUIRER file photos

House committee on justice chair Rep. Doy Leachon has assured a speedy and fair action on the impeachment complaints filed by some opposition lawmakers against seven of the eight Supreme Court (SC) justices who kicked out former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

“Oo naman [Of course] [we will be fair], I can assure you of that kasi siguradong patas itong pagdinig na ito [because for sure, this hearing will be fair],” the Oriental Mindoro 1st District representative said in an interview with Radyo Inquirer 990AM on Friday.

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“We expect that the fast resolution or action on this matter hopefully will be done on the next 10 days,” he added.

He also believes that the members of their committee are “independent” enough to vote fairly on the form and substance of the complaint.

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“It will always be a numbers game. But at the end of the day, these members of Congress or particularly members of the committee on justice are independent people. They have their own opinion and ways of thinking and we respect them,” he said.

Last Thursday, Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman, Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin, Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano, and Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat filed the impeachment complaints against Associate Justices Teresita de Castro, Andres Reyes Jr., Lucas Bersamin, Diosdado Peralta, Francis Jardeleza, Noel Tijam, and Alexander Gesmundo before the House office of the Secretary General (OSG).

READ: SC justices who ousted Sereno face impeachment complaints | Opposition solons file impeachment raps vs 7 Supreme Court justices

Under the impeachment rules of the 17th Congress, after the filing of complaints, the Speaker “shall have it included in the Order of Business within ten (10) session days from receipt.”

It shall then be referred to the committee on justice within three session days thereafter, and the panel will then determine whether the complaints are sufficient in form and substance.

House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo earlier vowed to expedite the proceedings so as not to disturb the legislative agenda of the lower chamber.

Arroyo said the Secretary General has already transmitted the impeachment charges to her office and that she is set to sign it and transmit it to the rules committee within the day, so it would be included in the order of business. /jpv

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READ: Arroyo vows speedy processing of impeach cases vs anti-Sereno SC justices

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