House panel to take up impeach complaints vs SC justices Sept 4

MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives' committee on justice will start discussions on the impeachment complaints against 7 justices of the Supreme Court next Tuesday, September 4.

Oriental Mindoro 1st District Representative Salvador Leachon, the new justice panel chair, said in a press conference on Monday, August 27, that he expects the complaints to be tackled in the order of business for Tuesday, August 28, then forwarded to his committee on the same day.

Following the rule to allot 3 days to inform all 55 members of the committee and produce copies of the complaints for them – starting on August 29 and not counting Friday, a no-session day – the next session day to tackle the complaints is on September 4. 

Four opposition congressmen filed last week the complaints against the 7 justices who favored the quo warranto petition to remove then-chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. 

Aside from newly-appointed Chief Justice Teresita Leonardo de Castro, the 6 other Supreme Court justices accused of culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust are:

Leachon explained the impeachment complaints will be tackled in the with the complaints ultimately being referred to the committee on justice.

Leachon also said the committee would like to tackle as much as it could within a single hearing day. They would first need to determine if the complaints are significant in form, then substance. Otherwise, the complaints will be dismissed.

He said the committee would coordinate with the complainants if they want the complaints "tackled simultaneously and jointly" since "the subject matter, the cause of action, the issues and concerns [of all complaints] are similarly situated to each other." – Rappler.com