MANILA – Malacañang is leaving it to the House of Representatives to act on the impeachment complaint against Supreme Court (SC) Associate Justice Marvic Leonen.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the House of Representatives has the exclusive power to initiate all cases of impeachment.
“Sang-ayon po sa Saligang Batas, talagang hurisdiksyon po ‘yan ng kamara de representante. Pinauubaya natin ‘yan sa kamara (According to the Constitution, that is the jurisdiction of the House of Representatives. We leave that to the chamber),” Roque said in a Palace press briefing.
On Tuesday night, the House formally referred the impeachment complaint filed against Leonen to the House Committee on Justice.
Majority Leader Martin Romualdez said the ball is now in the hands of the House Committee on Justice, chaired by Leyte Rep. Vicente “Ching” Veloso III, as the referral signals the start of the impeachment process.
Romualdez said before the referral of the impeachment complaint, the House Committee on Rules adopted the motion of Iloilo City Rep. Julienne Baronda to include the matter in the Calendar of Business earlier in the day.
Leonen, an appointee of former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, is facing an impeachment complaint for alleged culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust.
However, the magistrate said the issues raised in the impeachment complaint are false.
The impeachment complaint was submitted before the Office of the House Secretary-General by Edwin Cordevilla, secretary-general of the Filipino League of Advocates For Good Government (FLAGG).
Ilocos Norte 2nd District Representative Angelo Marcos Barba, cousin of defeated vice presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr, endorsed the impeachment complaint filed against Leonen.
In the complaint, Cordevilla accused Leonen of culpable violation of the Constitution for allegedly failing to dispose of at least 37 cases within 24 months.
Cordevilla noted that this violates the constitutional mandate requiring the speedy disposition of cases.
The complaint was filed after the camp of Marcos failed to make Leonen inhibit from the electoral protest case filed by Marcos against Vice President Leni Robredo.
Last February, the SC, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), unanimously dismissed Marcos’ electoral protest. (PNA)