AJ Marvic Leonen
By Junex Doronio
MANILA — If Associate Justice (AJ) Marvic Leonen thinks he can now sleep soundly after the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, junked the electoral protest of former Senator Bongbong Marcos, then the impeachment complaint filed against him might give him some headaches, or, a few sleepless nights.
On Monday afternoon, AnaKalusugan party-list congressman Mike Defensor asked his colleagues in the lower chamber “where is the impeachment complaint on Leonen languishing after it was filed more than two months ago by Larry Gadon representing Edwin Cordevilla, secretary-general of Filipino League of Advocates for Good Governance-Maharlika (FLAG-Maharlika)?”
“What I am asking about is the status of the impeachment case,” Defensor said during the plenary session.
Defensor’s parliamentary inquiry came days after the PET threw away the election protest filed Marcos claiming he lost the 2016 vice presidential race due to massive fraud.
Leonen was the ponente of the PET decision.
“It’s a simple question because, under our rules, there should be 10 session days and the Office of the Speaker should refer it to the House committee on justice,” Defensor, who sits in the House as representative of the medical sector, pointed out.
The 40-page complaint was filed by Gadon on Dec. 7, 2020, and endorsed by Ilocos Norte Rep. Angelo Marcos Barba, a cousin of Bongbong.
“I’d just like to know the status because we have gone beyond the days as stipulated in the rules,” Defensor added.
Cavite Rep. Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla, House senior deputy majority leader, answered that technically, only two session days had passed since the complaint had been filed.
“The rules state that there are 10 session days within which we can refer the matter to the House committee on justice,” Remulla said.
He explained: “However, we are only on our third session day as we have not adjourned or we have only adjourned twice before this session day. That’s why we are only on our third session day and it will be a matter of time.”
Remulla assured Defensor that “we will refer the same to the House committee on justice when the time is right for it.”
Another party-list representative, Abono Rep. Conrado Estrella III, told Defensor there was enough time to refer the impeachment complaint to the justice committee.
Under House rules, the secretary-general should immediately refer the impeachment complaint to the Speaker, who has 10 session days upon receipt to include it in the order of business.
The impeachment complaint should then be referred to the House justice committee within three session days. (AI/MTVN)