Justices who OKd Poe run face impeachment complaint
An impeachment complaint has been filed in the House of Representatives against the Supreme Court justices who voted to allow Sen. Grace Poe to run for the presidency.
Teofilo Parilla on Wednesday filed the complaint against Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno and Associate Justices Jose Perez, Presbitero Velasco Jr., Jose Mendoza, Lucas Bersamin, Marivic Leonen, Francis Jardeleza, Diosdado Peralta, and Benjamin Caguioa, even though there is barely enough time to tackle it in the current Congress.
The complainant said the justices should be impeached for culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust when they promulgated the decision finding Poe a natural-born citizen even though there was no majority vote.
They should also be impeached for disregarding the clear mandate of the Constitution on the qualifications for president, the complainant added.
However, House of Representatives secretary general Marilyn Barua Yap said the complaint was not admitted because there was no congressman to endorse it.
Parilla vowed to return to Congress with an endorser.
The complaint was filed even though there was little over a month before the end of the 16th Congress.
Now on campaign break for reelectionist representatives, Congress is set to resume on May 23 until June 10 for the canvassing of the results of the presidential and vice presidential elections.
Poe’s woes hounding her presidential bid stemmed from her disqualification by the Commission on Elections for misrepresenting in her certificate of candidacy that she was a natural-born citizen and able to fulfill the 10-year residency requirement under the Constitution.
The Supreme Court later ruled that she fulfilled the constitutional requirements for presidential candidates.
Her critics questioned her natural-born status because Poe was abandoned as a foundling in Jaro, Iloilo, with unknown parentage. She was adopted by the late action star Fernando Poe Jr. and actress Susan Roces.
Associate Justice Antonio Carpio in his dissenting opinion first raised that the ruling should not be promulgated because there was no majority vote on the issue of Poe’s natural-born status. The voting on the citizenship issue was 7-5-3.
Sereno, however, countered that there was a majority vote because of the nine who voted to allow Poe to run, seven justices said the senator was a natural-born Filipino. This is a clear majority of the 12 justices who participated in the voting, with three abstaining. RC
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