By Charissa Luci-Atienza
The chairman of the House committee on justice assured on Monday that the House plenary would immediately act on its panel report dismissing the consolidated verified impeachment complaints against newly retired Supreme Court Chief Justice Teresita Leonardo-De Castro and six other magistrates when Congress resumes session next month.
Oriental Mindoro Rep. Salvador “Doy” Leachon said the approval of his panel’s 11-page Committee Report No.898 on House Resolution 2237 dismissing the impeachment complaints against SC Justices will be made “more or less” during the first week of the resumption of Congress’ session.
“We will act on it immediately after the resumption of session,” he said.
Congress will buckle down to work on November 12 after its month-long Halloween break.
Leachon said the plenary approval of the panel report “needs to be included in agenda still” by Majority Leader and Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr., chairman of the House Committee on Rules.
Under its 11-page report, the House committee on justice concludes that the consolidated complaints against De Castro, Associate Justices Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Francis Jardeleza, Noel Tijam, Andres Reyes Jr. and Alexander Gesmundo
are “sufficient in form,” but “not sufficient in substance.”
Leachon expressed confidence that the House plenary will affirm his panel’s report.
The impeachment complaints were filed by Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, MAGDALO partylist Rep. Gary Alejano, and Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat Jr.. They alleged that De Castro, Associate Justices Peralta, Bersamin, Jardeleza, Tijam, Reyes and Gesmundo committed culpable violation of the Constitution for removing former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno through the quo warranto petition.
They also accused De Castro, Peralta, Bersamin, Jardeleza and Tijam of betrayal of public trust for refusing to inhibit from voting on the quo warranto petition after testifying against Sereno in the congressional impeachment complaint hearings.
On September 25, 2018, the Leachon panel unanimously approved the committee report dismissing the consolidated impeachment complaints against the SC justices.
The panel ruled those impeachment complaints were insufficient in substance.