House Speaker tells colleague: Go easy on SC

AFTER the House successfully voted to impeach Ombusdman Merceditas Gutierrez, the leadership intends to slow down on cases eyed against Supreme Court (SC) justices.

“All of us are free to pursue everything but I personally would say let’s go easy on the impeachment particularly of the SC justices at this time and let’s concentrate on what we have now,” Speaker Feliciano Belmonte told reporters Thursday.

Ilocos Norte Representative Rodolfo Farinas, vice-chair of the House justice committee, will file impeachment cases against Chief Justice Renato Corona and six other SC justices for voting in favor of issuing a status quo ante order stopping the impeachment proceedings against the Ombudsman at the House panel.

The eight who voted to issue the order were Corona, and Associate Justices Mariano del Castillo, Lucas Bersamin, Diosdado Peralta, Roberto Abad, Martin Villarama, Presbitero Velasco and Jose Portugal Perez.

“In the first place, you’ve got multiplicity of impeachment cases involving high ranking officials,” Belmonte added.

Del Castillo is facing a separate impeachment case for his plagiarized decision on Filipina comfort women during World War II.

Belmonte said he has yet to talk to Farinas about the impeachment cases against the SC justices.

Farinas will be busy in the coming months after he was elected as a member of the 11-man prosecution panel for the Senate trial on the impeachment of the Ombudsman.

Joining him in the panel are Deputy Speaker Erin Tanada (Quezon) and House justice committee chair Niel Tupas Jr. (Iloilo) after they were formally elected in the plenary Wednesday night.

“We have designated three right away and I told them to go ahead and talk to others, find out ano bang background nila, do they have experience in litigation and do they want to commit their time and so forth, because once they do, it’s okay they can already participate in the preparation stage, which I hope will be done during the break,” the Speaker said.

 

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