Arroyo wants to expedite impeachment cases vs. 7 SC justices

MANILASpeaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo wants to expedite the impeachment proceedings against the seven Supreme Court justices, who ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, so that it would not "disturb the legislative agenda" of the House of Representatives.

"The most important thing is to expedite it one way or another so that it does not really disturb the legislative agenda," Arroyo said in an ambush interview on Friday after distributing relief goods to the Aeta community in Porac, Pampanga.

The seven magistrates facing impeachment raps are Noel Tijam, Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Andres Reyes Jr., Alexander Gesmundo, Lucas Bersamin, Diosdado Peralta, and Francis Jardeleza.

Arroyo said she will transmit the impeachment complaints to the House committee on rules on Friday so that it would be included in the House's order of business next Tuesday.

"I checked with the Secretary General (Roberto Maling) this morning on my way here. He has already transmitted the impeachment charge to my office and then they will send me the transmittal for my signature later here in Pampanga so that I can transmit it also today to the rules committee," she said. "So that the rules committee can have it read out in Tuesday."

Based on the impeachment process, the complaints should then be referred to the House committee on justice within three session days thereafter.

The justice committee, after conducting hearings, and by a majority vote of all its Members, shall submit its report to the House within 60 session days from such referral.

Earlier, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano, Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat, and Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin filed impeachment complaints against the seven SC justices for alleged culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust.

Lagman said former associate justice Samuel Martires, who also voted to grant the quo warranto petition, was not included in the impeachment complaint because he has been appointed as the new Ombudsman.

The complaints stemmed from the SC decision dated May 11, 2018 granting the quo warranto petition filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida to nullify Sereno's appointment as top magistrate.

A vote of at least one-third of House members is needed to send the impeachment complaints to the Senate. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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