Impeachment complaint vs Leonen a Marcos ploy – Pangilinan
MANILA, Philippines — The impeachment case against Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen could be part of an elaborate conspiracy to boost former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s chances of winning his electoral protest against Vice President Leni Robredo, Sen. Francis Pangilinan suggested on Tuesday.
“It’s a corrupt, shamelessly opportunistic and insidious attempt to steal the position of Vice President [four] years after 2016 and after failing miserably to prove fraud,” Pangilinan told the Inquirer in a Viber message.
He said he hoped the House of Representatives would not waste its time on the case “considering the state of our economy being in shambles and the need to focus all our time, energy and attention on fixing this.”
Pangilinan, president of the opposition Liberal Party, which is chaired by Robredo, did not elaborate on his claim, but other critics were quick to point out associations between the Marcos camp and Leonen’s accusers.
‘Nothing to do with it’
The Marcos camp on Tuesday rebuffed insinuations that the defeated vice presidential candidate was behind the filing of the impeachment complaint against Leonen, whom he had accused of delaying his electoral protest against Robredo.
“No, [Marcos] is not connected and has nothing to do with the impeachment complaint filed against … Leonen,” said Vic Rodriguez, lawyer for the son and namesake of dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
“We refrain from commenting on an event or case where we are not a party as it is inappropriate for anyone to make wild accusation on something that they have no basic comprehension of the allegations, have not read the complaint and are just but the usual ballyhoos,” he said.
Leonen is the Supreme Court magistrate in charge of Marcos’ pending claims of electoral fraud against Robredo on the Presidential Electoral Tribunal.
Lawyer Lorenzo Gadon, a known Marcos loyalist, filed the impeachment complaint on behalf of a client against Leonen on Monday. His complaint was then endorsed by a Marcos cousin, Ilocos Norte Rep. Angelo Marcos Barba.
Both denied that the complaint was connected to the Robredo case, but it was not the first time Marcos supporters had targeted Leonen.
Gadon, along with another Marcos loyalist, Solicitor General Jose Calida, earlier attempted to secure copies of Leonen’s pre-Supreme Court wealth declarations to support a quo warranto case against him, the same legal maneuver that led to the ouster of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno in 2018.
The Supreme Court, however, denied the request.
The Marcos camp had also tried and failed to get Leonen to inhibit himself from the electoral case against the Vice President.
Sen. Risa Hontiveros, in a separate statement, called the impeachment complaint “a distraction that will only drag lawmakers and the public into a pointless political fiasco.”
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