16 lawmakers endorse VACC, Vanguards impeachment complaint vs Sereno

Bea Cupin
16 lawmakers endorse VACC, Vanguards impeachment complaint vs Sereno

Darren Langit

This is the second verified impeachment complaint against the Chief Justice. The first one, filed less than a week ago, had 25 endorsers.

MANILA, Philippines – More than a month after their first attempt to initiate impeachment proceedings against the Chief Justice, the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) and the Vanguards of the Philippine Constitution got 16 members of the House of Representatives to endorse their complaint.

This is the second verified complaint filed against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. The first one, filed less than a week ago by lawyer Larry Gadon, was endorsed by 25 House members

The VACC and Vanguards, represented by Dante Jimenez and Eligio Mallari, respectively, earlier filed an impeachment complaint on August 2. However, since it was not endorsed by any lawmaker then, it was not considered a valid complaint.

The impeachment complaint was received by the House Secretary General on August 15. 

As of Monday, September 4, the following lawmakers signed the second verified complaint against Sereno:

  1. Lanao del Sur 2nd District Representative Mauyag Papandayan 
  2. 1-PACMAN Representative Eric Pineda 
  3. MANILA TEACHERS Representative Virgilio Lacson 
  4. YACAP Representative Benhur Lopez Jr 
  5. Negros Occidental 3rd District Representative Arnolfo Teves
  6. Iloilo City Representative Jerry Treñas 
  7. Eastern Samar Representative Ben Evardone
  8. Biliran Representative Rogelio Espina
  9. Iloilo 3rd District Representative Arthur Defensor 
  10. Iloilo 4th District Representative Ferjenel Biron 
  11. ABANG Lingkod Representative Stephen Paduano 
  12. Iloilo 5th District Representative Raul Tupas 
  13. Cebu 4th District Representative Benhur Salimbangon 
  14. Aklan Representative Carlito Marquez 
  15. Capiz 2nd District Representative Fredenil Castro 
  16. AAMBIS-OWA Representative Sharon Garin

So far, there are no common endorsers for the two complaints against Sereno, according to files obtained by media. 

In August 2017, the the Supreme Court granted VACC and Vanguards’ request for documents to support their impeachment complaint against the Chief Justice.

Once a valid complaint is received by the House Secretary General, it is referred to the House Speaker, who will then include it in the House’s Order of Business. Once a complaint is transmitted to the House Speaker, additional endorsements from lawmakers will no longer be entertained, to prevent the practice commonly referred to as a “creeping impeachment.”

It will then be referred to the committee of justice, which will determine if the complaint is sufficient in form and substance and if there is probable cause to pursue it through a majority vote.

A resolution is forwarded to the House plenary. If there is probable cause, the resolution will include the Articles of Impeachment. If one-third of the House votes in favor of the resolution, it will be forwarded to the Senate. The Senate will then sit as the impeachment court.

Gadon, in late August 2017, also filed an impeachment complaint against Sereno. It was endorsed by at least 25 lawmakers. (READ: Two impeachments? Alvarez says House ready)

This would be the 3rd verified impeachment complaint overall filed before the House. An impeachment complaint against Commission on Elections Chairman Andres Bautista was filed on August 23. – Rappler.com

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.