No intent to threaten Corona witnesses—House majority leader
MANILA, Philippines—Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II said Monday
that the House of Representatives was not threatened by the testimony of Navotas Representative Tobias Tiangco about the supposed haste in which the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Renato Corona was passed by his colleagues in December 2011.
“I am, we are not threatened by his testimony, because after all our opinion is … it’s already moot and academic,” Gonzales said in an interview.
He said the Senate as an impeachment court had already ruled against a preliminary hearing to determine whether there was compliance with the Constitutional requirements when the House sent the impeachment case against Corona.
Gonzales said that Tiangco, being a neophyte, might not be aware of the parliamentary principle that matters discussed during the caucus were not supposed to be discussed and to be divulged outside of the caucus.
In the same manner, he said, the impeachment court had refused to subpoena the records of the Supreme Court pertaining to matters discussed during executive sessions.
“I just reminded him. Now, if despite the gentle reminder eh talagang gusto niya at gusto niyang magpakabayani, kay Chief Justice,” Gonzales said, adding that as majority leader, it would be his duty to defend the integrity and honor of the House, including its members individually and collectively.
He denied having threatened Tiangco with explusion, saying he just stated in the interview that a disciplinary action against unethical behavior by House members could include censure and suspension.
“So it’s not a threat. It’s just a matter of stating what is provided for by the rules and by the Constitution.
If he feels threatened, then that’s his problem, not mine,” Gonzales said.
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