House likely to affirm junking of Leonen impeachment case
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives will likely affirm the dismissal of the impeachment complaint against Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, given the landslide vote of the justice committee to junk it.
“Because the resolution of dismissal and committee report will be brought before the plenary for affirmation, can it be overturned by the plenary? Theoretically, it’s possible if someone would pose that,” said House deputy minority leader and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate.
But Zarate said in an online press briefing on Friday that it was unlikely that the House would overturn the panel’s decision because the chamber’s June 5 sine die adjournment was just days away.
“But I don’t think so. It was a multipartisan decision of the House members, and we saw who voted there. I think there is a very slim chance that the decision of the justice committee will be reversed. I have not seen a precedent for it.”
“I firmly believe that it will not be reversed, especially [because] we have three session days before the sine die adjournment of the second regular session of the 18th Congress,” Zarate said.
He made the remarks a day after 44 of the justice panel’s members voted to throw out the impeachment complaint. No one voted to approve the complaint.
Several House officials said the impeachment complaint was based on “mere hearsay,” heavily relying on news reports and not the personal knowledge of the complainant, Edwin Cordevilla.
Cordevilla, then represented by lawyer Larry Gadon, lodged the complaint against Leonen “for alleged violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust” for his alleged failure to file his statements of assets, liabilities and net worth when he taught law at the University of the Philippines.
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