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No impeachment yet vs Leni, Sereno
There is no impeachment process yet against Vice President Leni Robredo and Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, key members of the House of Representatives said yesterday. File
MANILA, Philippines - There is no impeachment process yet against Vice President Leni Robredo and Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, key members of the House of Representatives said yesterday.
Their statements contradict the claim Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez made in a television interview on Wednesday that the process has already started and that in fact, the complaints have been referred to the committee on justice for scrutiny.
Mindoro Oriental Rep. Rey Umali, who chairs the justice committee, told The STAR that no impeachment complaint against Robredo, Sereno or Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales has been transmitted to his committee.
“Maybe, the complaints are still with the secretary general,” he said.
Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate, a member of the justice committee, said no impeachment process has been started against Robredo, Sereno or Morales.
“That is because there is no House member who has endorsed any of these complaints. Without an endorser, an impeachment petition is just a useless scrap of paper,” he said.
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He said an impeachment process starts when the House transmits a complaint in plenary session to the committee on justice.
Reached for comment, House secretary general Cesar Pareja said the complaints are still with his office.
He said no House member has come forward to endorse any of the petitions.
The STAR checked the chamber’s journals of proceedings and found that no complaint against Robredo, Sereno or Morales has been referred to the committee on justice.
Under the rules on impeachment, Pareja has to send a duly endorsed impeachment petition to the Speaker, who refers it to the rules committee for inclusion in the order of business and transmittal to the committee on justice.
Interviewed by ABS-CBN News Channel’s Karen Davila on Wednesday, Alvarez said in Filipino, “The impeachment complaint against Leni Robredo has not been processed. It’s still with the committee on justice.
“The complaint against the Chief Justice, that was filed. We are processing it, we are determining if it’s sufficient in form, if it’s sufficient in substance. We will have to conduct hearings, especially now that the Supreme Court has issued certified true copies (of documents) on the allegations of the complainant,” he said.