“Without preempting the decision of the committee on justice, we believe that our impeachment complaints are sufficient in form and substance and would establish probable cause to justify further hearings to be conducted by the committee,” he told reporters.
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Edcel Lagman optimistic of impeachment case vs 7 SC justices
Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) - August 31, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Independent opposition Rep. Edcel Lagman of Albay is optimistic the impeachment complaints they filed against Supreme Court (SC) justices led by now Chief Justice Teresita de Castro will see the light of day. 

“Without preempting the decision of the committee on justice, we believe that our impeachment complaints are sufficient in form and substance and would establish probable cause to justify further hearings to be conducted by the committee,” he told reporters. 

When asked if he believes it would prosper, unlike that of President Duterte in 2017, the titular head of the self-proclaimed Magnificent 7 replied: “Yes, yes, because they are well-anchored on legal arguments and settled jurisprudence.” 

Lagman said pronouncements made by Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo – his ally and former political benefactor – is not applicable to them “because impeachment complaints are meritorious, justified and very sufficient in form and in substance, as well as probable cause.” 

Arroyo, who survived four impeachment suits when she was president, told House reporters that anybody could file an impeachment complaint, but making it prosper is another story. 

Citing the SC’s 8-6 vote in favor of the quo warranto case Solicitor General Jose Calida filed against then chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, Lagman and his colleagues said De Castro and Associate Justices Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Andres Reyes Jr., Francis Jardeleza, Noel Tijam and Alexander Gesmundo should be removed for their supposed role in the former chief justice’s ouster in June.

Oriental Mindoro Rep. Salvador Leachon, chairman of the House committee on justice that will hear the complaints, has assured the SC justices of fairness and utmost impartiality, just like the way Sereno’s case was handled. 

“I would like to reiterate that the complainants should not be worried about outright dismissal, unless otherwise the cases filed are definitely devoid of merit. I can assure them, we can definitely say that we will deal with this with utmost impartiality,” he declared. 

Meanwhile, Vice President Leni Robredo yesterday urged De Castro to use her short stint in office to repair the SC, saying her appointment was a “done deal.”

“I wish that she will use the two months that she will stay in office to strengthen the institution. I think the Supreme Court went through a lot during the quo warranto case. I hope that her stay in office will be used to repair that,” Robredo said in Filipino during an interview with reporters in Bohol. 

Robredo, who is facing an electoral protest before the SC sitting as presidential electoral tribunal, said a strong high court is essential to a democracy. She was among those who supported Sereno.

Lawyer Romulo Macalintal, Robredo’s counsel in the electoral case, lauded the appointment of De Castro as Chief Justice, saying: “It is indeed very gratifying to learn from Malacañang that the appointment of Teresita de Castro as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court ‘was due to seniority rule’.” – With Janvic Mateo

EDCEL LAGMAN IMPEACHMENT SUPREME COURT TERESITA DE CASTRO
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