House to tackle impeachment complaints vs ex-CJ De Castro, 6 other magistrates

Published November 15, 2018, 3:35 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Charissa Luci-Atienza 

The House plenary is expected to tackle on Monday, November 19, the panel report dismissing the consolidated verified impeachment complaints against retired Supreme Court Chief Justice Teresita Leonardo-De Castro and six other magistrates.

Newly appointed Supreme Court Chief Justice Teresita De Castro answers questions from reporters during her first press briefing as a chief magistrate Tuesday. (ALI VICOY / MANILA BULLETIN)
Supreme Court Chief Justice Teresita De Castro

Oriental Mindoro Rep. Paulino Salvador “Doy” Leachon said House Majority Leader and Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando “Nonoy” Andaya Jr., chairman of the House Committee on Rules, relayed that his panel’s 11-page Committee Report No.898 on House Resolution 2237 dismissing the impeachment complaints against SC Justices will be included in the plenary agenda or Order of Business (OB) next week.

“Ok na sa Rules Committee. I think the plenary [will tackle the panel report] on Monday as relayed by the majority leader,” he said when asked about the schedule of the plenary approval of the panel report.

“If included on Monday, it will be approved that day, ” Leachon, chairman of the House Committee on Justice, said.

Under its 11-page report, the House Committee on Justice concluded 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.”

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 that impeachment complaints were insufficient in substance.