House panel begins Leonen impeachment hearing
MANILA, Philippines — More than five months after the initial filing of the impeachment case against Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, the House of Representatives officially began its discussions on the matter Thursday.
The House Committee on Justice, headed by Leyte Rep. Vicente Veloso III, convened under a hybrid set-up for the first hearing on the impeachment case against the magistrate.
Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Alfredo Garbin, vice-chairperson of the justice committee, earlier explained that the panel has to first determine the sufficiency of the complaint both in form and in substance.
Garbin added that once the committee determines sufficiency in the complaint’s form and substance, they still need to secure Leonen’s response regarding the impeachment call.
Edwin Cordevilla, secretary general of Filipino League of Advocates for Good Government, filed an impeachment complaint against Leonen in December 2020.
Cordevilla claimed that the magistrate “clearly lacks integrity because he failed to file his statement of assets and liabilities and net worth” for 15 years during his tenure at the University of the Philippines.
The impeachment complaint was endorsed by Ilocos Norte Rep. Angelo Marcos Barba, a cousin of former Sen. Bongbong Marcos.
Leonen, who wrote the decision junking the electoral protest of Marcos against Vice President Leni Robredo, has said that Congress should not spend time on “false issues raised by some for clearly personal or vindictive reasons.”
Section 3, Article XI of the 1987 Constitution states that the House shall have the exclusive power to initiate all cases of impeachment.
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