Impeach case against SC justice on tap today
MANILA, Philippines—The committee on justice of the House of Representatives will decide today (Wednesday) if the impeachment complaint filed late last year by 11 congressmen against Supreme Court Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo for plagiarism is sufficient in form.
Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas, committee vice chair, said the committee could not ignore the big number of complainants.
He said that he personally believed that the complaint was sufficient in form, especially when compared to the earlier impeachment complaint against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez.
He noted that the complaint against Gutierrez was filed by two party-list groups and endorsed by three congressmen, while the complaint against Del Castillo was filed by a number of congressmen that was more than 10 percent of the one-third vote required for committee approval.
He said the committee would tackle the complaint against Del Castillo first after he decided to set aside for now his plan to file an impeachment complaint against several other Supreme Court justices for their issuance of a status quo ante order that derailed the committee’s impeachment hearings against Gutierrez.
Gutierrez, however, was subsequently impeached and was to go on trial in the Senate when she resigned.
The impeachment complaint against Del Castillo stemmed from allegations that he plagiarized foreign court decisions in his ruling in the case of comfort women seeking recompense for the sexual abuse they suffered in the hands of Japanese soldiers during World War II.
Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupas Jr., committee chair, earlier said the complaint against Del Castillo did not require congressmen-endorsers since congressmen themselves were among the complainants.
During the committee hearing on Tuesday, members approved two bills, namely, the Whistle-blowers Act and the proposed amendments to the Witness Protection Program of the Department of Justice.
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