Speaker endorses Leonen impeachment complaint for inclusion on House agenda

Speaker endorses Leonen impeachment complaint for inclusion on House agenda
Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen delivers a talk at the court's En Banc Hall on Mar. 21, 2019.
Supreme Court Public Information Office / released

MANILA, Philippines — House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco has endorsed the impeachment complaint filed against Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen to the House Commitee on Rules. 

In a letter dated March 25 and addressed to House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez, the Marinduque lawmaker endorsed the original copies of the impeachment complaint for, the letter's subject-line reads, "inclusion in the order of business."

According to the lower chamber's rules on impeachment, the House speaker should have an impeachment complaint included in the agenda of the House session before it can be tackled.

With the speaker's endorsement, the complaint may now be included in the plenary agenda when the chamber resumes its session in May.

The complaint against Leonen acccuses him of failing to file Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth when he was a professor at the University of the Philippines. 

Leonen also allegedly violated the Constitution and betrayed public trust for his supposed failure to dispose 37 cases within two years. The complaint also alleges that the SC justice has been partial and “almost always [taking] sides against the current administration,” as supposedly shown by the justice’s votes in cases that the SC has resolved.

FROM INTERAKSYON: Impeachment rap vs Leonen prompts renewed calls for Duterte’s wealth declaration

Leonen was also among those behind the junked electoral protest of the former dictator's namesake Ferdinand Marcos Jr against Vice President Leni Robredo before the Supreme Court, sitting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal.

The complaint, which was filed when the High Court was still hearing Marcos' electoral protest, also claimed that Leonen sat on some 37 cases in his capacity as chairperson of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal.

The complaint, filed in December by Filipino League of Advocates for Good Government Secretary-General Edwin Cordevilla, was endorsed by Rep. Angelo Marcos Barba (Ilocos Norte), himself a member of the Marcos clan and a cousin of former senator Bongbong Marcos.

"Given the urgent and pressing needs of our people during this time of crises, we are confident that our leaders will do the right thing," Leonen said then in a statement coursed through the Supreme Court Public Information Office.

"Certainly, this may not be time to attend to false issues raised by some for clearly personal or vindictive reasons," he added in response to the complaint.

— Franco Luna with a report from Kristine Joy Patag and The STAR/Edu Punay 

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