Ex-PH Supreme Court spox: Pursuing impeachment complaint vs. Justice Leonen will affect entire SC
Impeachment is Not Just to Get Rid of Leonen
A former Supreme Court spokesperson says that the House Committee on Justice has the option not to hear the impeachment complaint against Justice Marvic Leonen. This is if it does not find any merit to the case. Attorney Theodore Te also believes that the proceedings may set a precedent that can impact the entire Supreme Court. Leonen’s friends also call the ouster case baseless. However, Atty. Larry Gadon is confident of his summoning the SALN as his strong evidence.
Quo Warranto Difference
The court is an institution will survive, added Te. It will just simply render justice. The destructions should not count. May it be the emotional outpour of some colleagues and lawyers in favor of Leonen. More so with Bongbong Marcos’ plea to inhibit Leonen from his election protest against Leni Robredo. The former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno’s removal through a quo warranto petition was filed directly at the Supreme Court. The impeachment complaint is now at the Congress.
Impeachment Must Stay on the Grounds
Just like the case of former Chief Justice Renato Corona. He’s a dignified man with very good reputation. He was impeached just because of failing to submit his SALN. It happened when most public officials were not yet keen in doing it. Why should Leonen be spared? Atty. Gadon would not site the evidence if he did not do his home work yet.
This is how Cong. Marcoleta reads the Leonen’s impeachment complaint.
One-Third of the Congress
House Speaker Lord Velasco requests Congress to tackle the many issues including Associate Justice Marvic Leonen’s impeachment case when they resume discussions in January. December is the time for merry-making as per the Filipino tradition. Nonetheless, Cong. Marcoleta can’t do anything if that’s what is decided upon by the majority. He did say that if only the House can have one-third to agree on the complaint, it could immediately go up to the next level.
82 Justices Denied
Marcoleta stresses on the ground of culpable violation against the constitution. Justices are required to give justice. So, if Leonen has 82 delayed cases, that means, he denied justice to 82 complainants. Regardless of the holidays, this must be a quick and easy case. Even faster than the case of the former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. Sereno’s removal was through quo warranto petition of Solicitor General Jose Calida.
Not Submitting SALN is Criminal in Nature
Sereno only has 6 unfiled SALNs while Leonen has 15. This was the ground that nailed the late Chief Justice Renato Corona. Atty. Larry Gadon would probably not file this if he doesn’t have concrete leads on the evidence. The good thing is, they can be obtained through a summon. The question is if Cong. Angelo Marcos Barba, the lawmaker who endoses it has one-third of the Congress votes. Does he?
Atty. Larry Gadon once again files an impeachment complaint against the SC justice, Marvic Leonen at the House recently. This is the second time of the same nature. The first one was that of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. This comes after Leonen seeks a probe on the leak of his 5 million pesos request to renovate a cottage at the Supreme Court compound. The excessive spending receives lots of negative comments on social media.
Betrayal of Public Trust
“Respondent (Leonen) is guilty of culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust, reads the complaint. Therefore, he should not be allowed to continue in office,” it added. Gadon previously did this with Sereno. She was eventually impeached from the Supreme Court. This is through a quo warranto petition. It was filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida.
Probe on Media Leak
However, Leonen resists to disclose the evidence by filing a probe on the media leak. In most cases, a newspaper article is at the best secondary evidence of its contents. It is not admissible in evidence without proper proof of the contents. If the court rules negatively on how the information was obtained, that might not be used in the proceeding.
By: Elena Grace Flores
The presumptive Vice President is furious of the OSG’s participation in preparing the affidavit of the various cases against her. However, as the government’s lawyer, it is Sol. Gen. Jose Calida’s mandate to do so. Robredo accuses him of lawyering for Bongbong Marcos to oust her through an impeachment proceeding. There is actually a constitutional way to realize the temporary VP’s fear. Aside from having the Senate President and House Speaker as next in line, the President can always appoint his Vice President. All appointments must get a nod from both the Upper and Lower Houses of the Congress.
YouTube video by GMA News[VIDEO]: SONA: VP Robredo at iba pang personalidad, sinampahan ng sedition at iba pang reklamo
Impeachment after Sedition Conviction
Previously, Calida said that Robredo should be impeached for “betraying the trust of the people.” Meanwhile, Atty. Larry Gadon
Removal from Office
Constitutional law professor Dan Gatmaytan said the inciting to sedition complaint against Robredo can proceed because “immunity does not extend to the Vice President.” But Gatmaytan said Robredo cannot be removed from office through this complaint, because she can only be removed through impeachment. This is just like the case of former Supreme Court chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno via quo warranto.
Favoring Bongbong Marcos
In the ongoing electoral protest that Marcos filed against Robredo, Calida also plays a role in dropping the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and favoring instead Marcos’ position that the Presidential Electoral Tribunal must apply a 50% shading threshold. He said he is favoring Marcos’ position as “tribune of the people.” Calida campaigned for Marcos in the 2016 elections.
Presidential Succession Theory
Atty. Larry Gadon said an indictment against Robredo for sedition can be used as a ground for impeachment. Gadon is the lawyer of Peter Joemel Advincula alias Bikoy who is behind the “Totoong Narco List” video designed to malign the President’s family. To replace an impeached VP, President Du30 can simply include BBM in his cabinet. This is prior to a possible Vice Presidential appointment that is subject to the approval of Congress. Marcos’ electoral protest win just serves as an alternative should Sotto or Cayetano temporarily assumes the VP post until such time that Marcos qualifies for the post.
Congresswoman and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo showed her competence in front of the world and America’s former President Barack Obama when it comes to the economy. She has turned the ailing economy of the country starting in 2001 when she assumed the presidency. Concrete economic infrastructures were created that spared the Philippines from the global economic crises in 2008. It would be beneficial if Arroyo can take over as temporary Vice President should the impeachment case against VP Leni Robredo pushes through. She is in the line of succession like Senate President Tito Sotto. Bongbong Marcos even vouches on her achievements in setting up economic infrastructures in terms of investments, exports, and other financial facilities through his BBM Vlog 24.
[VIDEO]: Personally, I know that Gloria, given her expertise that comes from her nine-year rule as president, will lead Congress well. She knows what is good for the country, especially in terms of the economy. Her legacy as president was an economic reform that gave us good economic growth. I’ve been a journalist for nearly seven decades and have walked the corridors of power. I can say that Gloria was among the best presidents we ever had.” – Emil Jurado
During the leadership of Former President Arroyo, she had made tough decisions. But these tough decisions made the Philippine Economy prosper. The GDP (gross domestic product) showed an average of 5.0% during her term from 2001 up to the first quarter of 2008. This focus on prowess in the handling of economy earned praise from her former classmate in Georgetown, former US President Bill Clinton.
One of the toughest rules the Arroyo Administration implemented was the controversial e-VAT law. This was the centerpiece of her economic reform agenda. Implemented on November of 2005, It aims to help in raising revenue for the country’s large budget deficit. The administration targets to have a sound national budget by 2010. These measures helped to contribute to a stronger Peso by boosting confidence in the government’s fiscal capacity. It is no surprise that the Philippine Peso was the best performing currency in East Asia for 2005-06.
A Stronger Peso
In 2007, during Arroyo’s administration, the Peso’s value has raised by nearly 20%. This makes it Asia’s best-performing currency. This was made possible through the increased remittances of OFWs as well as the strong domestic economy Arroyo have cultured. Even with the growth of the GDP in place. Arroyo still has the drive to push these areas even further.
Empowering the OFW
The inflation has reached its highest for 17 years in August of 2008. The annual rates go as high as 12.5 percent compared from the record low 2.8 percent in 2007. As the fuel and energy prices went down, the inflation rate eased at 8.8 percent. Pnoy claimed achievements on the continuing GDP Growth during his time. But It was Arroyo who pushed to nurture jobs overseas for Filipinos as a choice and not the singular option.
The BRICS Club
The economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa are well known for their tremendous growth potential. They are called the BRICS club. These countries also have their share of economic and political woes. China has been the main force driving this group. China has transformed their economic structure from a focus on exports to an economy that relies on domestic consumption. During her administration, one of Arroyo’s successful achievements is the lower reliance on imports. Arroyo’s economic principles are clearly in line with the Marcos-Du30 partnership. She can also safeguard the VP post just in case Robredo is impeached or removed for whatever reason.
By: Elena Grace Flores
Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro’s earlier testimony is supported by two other justices. She calls on the attention of the chief justice ever since. They claim that after 5 years, Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno still fails to ask the en banc. De Castro even asked; Until when will we suffer? As she implies on Sereno’s dictatorship at the SC. Bongbong Marcos, on the other hand, said that Sereno’s plight must not affect the recount for his election protest in February 2018 against Leni Robredo. Their proceeding is under the Tribunal. It might be favorable not to have an anti-Marcos as Chief Justice in a long run but for now, he can only see further delay in the ruling if she is impeached.
[VIDEO]: Four justices of the Supreme Court – 3 incumbent and one retired – stand as witnesses in the impeachment case filed against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
Justices Criticize Sereno’s Dictatorship
Several associate justices of the Supreme Court openly criticize Chief Justice Sereno for mistakes she apparently makes during her 5-year term. “I believe that the actions of the chief justice from the time that she assumed her position showed no respect or courtesy to the court en banc,” said Associate De Castro. The House committee on justice continues to hear the impeachment case against Sereno.
Disregarding the En Banc
“I do not disagree with the characterizations made by Deputy Speaker Hernandez,” said Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza. He refers to South Cotabato 2nd District Representative Ferdinand Hernandez. Hernandez asks the SC justices if they are insulted by Sereno’s apparent habit of making decisions on her own. This is without consulting the en banc which refers to all 15 justices of the Supreme Court, including Sereno.
Advice to the Supreme Court CJ
“We are a very small group in the Supreme Court. I would tell her, don’t go that route. You are getting what you want through these devious means that are not right,” added retired associate justice, Arturo Brion. The House committee deliberates over 7 hearing days a complaint filed by lawyer Larry Gadon against Sereno. Among his allegations is that Sereno curtailed the power of the Supreme Court en banc, a collegial body, by making decisions on her own.
Complaints that Led the Impeachment Case
Aside from Sereno’s alleged dictatorship, the establishment of the Regional Court Administrator’s Office (RCAO) in Region VII is also under scrutiny. These are on top of t the issuance of a temporary restraining order in the proclamation of party-list group winners and the transfer of the Maute cases from Marawi City to Taguig City. The committee is set to vote by January 2018 – whether to accept or reject it.
Bongbong Marcos explains that no other election protests at the Presidential level have reached the full payment stage, unlike his protest. In short, it’s the only protest that is not abandoned despite the delay due to the Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno’s impeachment. Recently, SC Associate Justice Teresita de Castro testifies that Sereno issued an administrative order in 2012 that contradicted a resolution of the en banc on the opening of a regional court administrative office. Sereno’s Camp denies this. Its statement said that the SC en banc approved the creation of Regional Court Administrative Office (RCAO) in Region 7.
[VIDEO]: Bongbong Marcos nagsalita na sa Impeachment ni CJ Sereno
Former President Benigno Aquino III appointed Sereno despite being the most junior among those were shortlisted to replace the late Chief Justice Renato Corona. This is after what was dubbed allegedly as Corona’s unfair trial at the Senate.
De Castro stresses that she was not emotional when she discloses Sereno’s questionable decisions to the panel. She cannot question the ex-President’s appointment of Sereno. However, she cannot stand idly when there’s no more collective power in the Supreme Court. Particularly when the en back decisions are set aside.
Advice to the Panel
The Associate Justice suggests to the panel to look at the evidence available to determine if there’s substance or basis in her testimony. She is not a Justice for nothing after 20 years if they think that she is just emotional.
VP Election Recount
Marcos insists that Sereno’s plight must not affect the recount for his election protest against Leni Robredo. Their proceeding is under the Tribunal. He, However, can see further delay if the CJ is impeached. That could lead to a slow ruling. Robredo’s Lawyer, Romulo Macalintal got it all wrong again that no protests in the country yet has progressed. In fact, his client’s counter-protest is for dismissal due to the non-payment of their balance.
Lawyer Lorenzo “Larry” Gadon recently said that Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno could not bring before the SC the decision of lawmakers. He insists that only she could cross-examine witnesses during the proceedings. Gadon filed the impeachment complaints against Sereno. He publicly admits that he wants to “avenge” former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo and the late Chief Justice Renato Corona. In addition, he also wants to make sure that the Vice Presidency goes to Bongbong Marcos.
[VIDEO]: Justices De Castro, Jardeleza to testify against Sereno – Atty. Gadon
Appeal for the Supreme Court CJ to Resign
Gadon earlier stresses that Sereno should resign to keep the integrity of the body that she is serving. He warns that the Congress Impeachment hearings are brutal. However, the CJ responded that to resign is nor even an option for her. This is allegedly so because she is certain that the case has no legal basis.
The Right to Counsel
Lawyer Jojo Lacanilao, a spokesperson for Sereno, said that the Constitution provides that the Chief Justice “be accorded the right to counsel and the right to cross-examine the complainant and the witnesses through her lawyers. These are the same rights that are guaranteed to every citizen of this country to ensure due process.” Gadon is told to review his law on this matter.
Sereno’s Camp Takes the Case as a Political Process
This political process involved a judicial character the same as that of a criminal prosecution,” Lacanilao said. The House Committee on Justice formally invited Sereno to the next impeachment hearing on Nov. 22. She insinuates that her lawyers will represent her.
Gadon wants the ones who benefit from the misfortunes of ex-President Arroyo and the late former CJ Corona, like Supreme Court Chief Justice Sereno, to be accountable for those.” Gadon also works to assure former Senator Bongbong Marcos’ timely take over to the VP post. He believes that as an appointee of Pnoy, Marcos’ electoral protest against Robredo won’t get the justice it deserves under Sereno’s Supreme Court watch.
Lawyer Larry Gadon who filed an impeachment complaint against Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno admits that he ran for Senator under the banner of Lakas and the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) in 2016. The party is affiliated with the Marcoses. But he firmly denied; “No, Bongbong Marcos has nothing to do with this complaint. In fact, he was surprised that I am the one who filed it.”
[VIDEO]: Bongbong, Duterte backing Sereno impeachment? Lawyer says no
No Presidential Influence
He also denied that President Du30 is behind the complaint. “I only met the President 5 times and we never talked. Just a shake hand and ‘hi, sir’ and thank you. That’s all. He has nothing to do with this.”
Gadon also denied that former President and now Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is behind the complaint. This speculation mushrooms after her previous appointee, the late Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, was impeached and removed from the High Court. Gadon is a member of Arroyo’s legal team.
Vengeance is Not for Arroyo
Gadon previously tried to convince Mrs. Arroyo to file a complaint against Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales. This was for malicious persecution but Mrs. Arroyo rejected the idea. He was even scolded when he told reporters that she was contemplating on filing a case. He said this time that Mrs. Arroyo did not endorse the impeachment complaint against Sereno. “I did not ask her,” he said.
Sufficient in Form and Substance
The House of Representatives justice committee recently announces that Gadon’s complaint is sufficient in form and substance. Among the Supreme Court documents, Gadon used were official lists of Sereno’s travel expenses and appointment letters. He also cited the Supreme Court’s purchase of a P5.1 million luxury vehicle for the CJ. Sereno’s discrepancies on her statement of assets liabilities and net worth (SALN) and her attorney’s fees in the Piatco Case were also raised. Sereno decided to keep quiet about it and refrained from making comments.
An impeachment complaint is already filed against the Commission on Elections chairperson Andres Bautista. This is on the ground of the betrayal of public trust. Plus the culpable violation of the Constitution over allegations of ill-gotten wealth. This development clears the way for the recount required on Bongbong Marcos’ election protest which is on the second part.
Youtube video by; GMA News
[VIDEO]: Andres Bautista, sinampahan ng reklamong impeachment dahil sa betrayal of public trust.
Former Negros Oriental Rep. Jacinto Paras with his lawyers Ferdinand Topacio and Manuelito Luna filed the impeachment complaint at the House of Representatives’ Secretary General’s office against Bautista. Deputy Speaker Gwen Garcia, Kabayan Rep. Harry Roque, and Cavite Rep. Abraham Tolentino endorsed the impeachment complaint. It fulfills the first requirement for an impeachment complaint to be duly endorsed by a member of the lower House.
Bautista faced an impeachment complaint about betrayal of public trust and culpable violations of the Constitution for not declaring his true wealth in his Statement of Assets and Liabilities Networth (SALN). Graft and corruption for allegedly receiving commissions from Divina Law Offices, the legal counsel of Venezuelan election technology supplier and Comelec’s biggest contractor Smartmatic are also featured.
Doubts on the Automated Election
Cebu Representative Gwen Garcia said that she decides to endorse the complaint to clear out all speculations since the wife presented to the media passbooks which showed Bautista’s undeclared wealth. The allegations against Bautista cast doubt on the credibility of the recently concluded 2016 elections, she said. “Personally, I have always had serious doubts about the automated voting systems. I think it’s the right time now to see and check on the veracity as well as the credibility of the automated voting system, as evidenced by this very, very controversial happening,” Garcia added.
On to the Recount
Leni Robredo’s Camp always used the first part of Bongbong Marcos’ election protest as the cause for the recount delay. They said that the second part can only start after the first part is resolved. This is about the credibility of the digital election process in 2016. Now that the COMELEC Chair already faces an impeachment complaint after the evidence presented by his estranged wife, the recount must start immediately to satisfy public interest.