Deputy Speaker Rufus Rodriguez (Photo courtesy by sunstar.com.ph)
MANILA — One of the top officials of the House of Representatives made it clear that the dismissal of former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s electoral protest against Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo is not the case that will be discussed in connection with the impeachment charges hurled against Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen.
Deputy Speaker Rufus Rodriguez pointed out that the junking of the Supreme Court on Marcos’ case against Robredo, or any issues, will not be tackled since they are not the content of the impeachment charges that were leveled against Leonen.
Leonen was the ponente of the decision against Marcos electoral protest filed at the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), against Robredo.
Marcos filed the charges last June, 2016, but the PET has only put its final nail on the electoral protest.
Rodriguez’s explanations were his reply to ANC’s Christian Esguerra’s query on the possible motive and context of the impeachment charges against Leonen.
Esguerra obviously insinuated that impeachment charges hurled on Leonen has the “motive” of punishing the magistrate for his ponencia against Marcos’ electoral protest on Robredo.
“When we have the complaint, then we have to look for the form and substance and then if there is the existence of these two, we proceed now to require the answer and once we have the answer, we have the documents. Once we have the documents, we will determine whether sufficient grounds exist,” Rodriguez explained.
Leonen managed to convince the majority of the justices in rejecting Marcos’ case.
Rodriguez averred that lawmakers will look into the content of the impeachment charges itself.
He noted that they find out the veracity and pieces of evidence on the charges slapped on Leonen.
The charges slapped by the good governance advocate Edwin Cordevilla were in supposed “culpable violation of the Constitution,” non-filing of the Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth (SALN) for fifteen times while serving as law professor at the College of Law at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City and alleged sloppy performance of his duties and responsibilities as magistrate of the high bench and head of the House of Representatives electoral Tribunal (HRET).
Cordevilla’s case was accepted and adopted by Ilocos Norte Representative Angelo Barba last December, 2020.
Last April, Speaker Lord Allan Jay Velasco issued a green light for the House to tackle the impeachment charges against Leonen as soon as the Congress resumes its session on May 17.
Rodriguez said the House Justice Committee is very much prepared to discuss the impeachment charges so as to send it later on to the Senate for Leonen’s trial.
Cordevilla, Secretary-General of Filipino League of Advocates for Good Governance-Maharlika (FLAG-MAHARLIKA) has previously told the media that his case against Leonen was extremely strong.
But some observers warned that, ‘political operators’ are all in play now to skew the case depending on which side they are working for. (AI/MTVN)