Leni warns Congress vs abusing power to impeach
Congress should not abuse its powers of impeachment to scare and intimidate the voices of the opposition, Vice President Leni Robredo said on Thursday.
“Impeachment is one of the processes in a democracy, so let us listen. But in my view, it should not be used to incite fear. It should not be used to punish people who are boldly making their voices heard against the government,” she said.
“We hope that the impeachment process will not be abused,” Robredo said in an interview in Balangkayan Eastern Samar, a transcript of which was sent to Manila reporters.
She was reacting to the decision of the House justice committee finding one of two impeachment complaints against Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno sufficient in form and substance, and proceeding with the hearing of charges against her.
Robredo herself is the subject of an impeachment complaint. It, however, has not been endorsed by a House member.
Robredo said impeachment should be seen as an “extraordinary remedy” not to be wielded as a political weapon.
“What is important in a democracy is to have strong institutions, and any attempt to weaken our institutions, we will oppose that,” she said.
The House justice panel has officially transmitted the Sereno impeachment complaint to the Supreme Court, giving the chief justice 10 days from its receipt on Sept. 15 to respond.
The legal team of the chief justice on Friday confirmed that they had formally received the copy of the impeachment complaint against her from the House of Representatives.
Lawyer Carlo Cruz, Sereno’s spokesperson, said they would submit within 10 days the chief justice’s reply after the documents were sent to them by the House’s office of the secretary general.
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