PROCESS

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez expects the House to formally tackle the impeachment complaint against Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

This even as the complaint remains without a congressional endorser—a key requirement for any impeachment complaint to be validly initiated.

Alvarez told ANC Headstart, “Impeachment complaint against the Chief Justice, finile yun, ok. Pino-process namin ngayon doon, tinitingnan namin kung sufficient in form, kung sufficient in substance.”

2 private complainants, Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption and Lawyer Lorenzo Gadon have filed separate impeachment complaints though these remain unendorsed by lawmakers.

On Tuesday, VACC amended its unendorsed complaint to include documents sourced from the SC. Gadon is expected to do the same should the SC grant his requests.

Alvarez however told ANC that the Sereno complaints maybe tackled by the Justice Committee since the Supreme Court has issued certified true copies of documentary evidence. “ Yes, magkaka-committee hearing diyan especially now na yung Supreme Court nag-issue ng mga certified true copies ng lahat ng mga allegations ng complainant. So kailangan naming dinggin yun, maghi-hearing kami doon.”

Alvarez explained the House has to be discerning in tackling complaints even as the House appears to have become a repository of complainst against Sereno, Ombudsman Conchita Caprio Morales  and Vice-President Leni Robredo even as there are talks about a possible complaint against Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista. Last year, the House dismissed an impeachment complaint against President Duterte.

“ yung first yung complaint, yung impeachment complaint against the President, na-process na namin yun, yung impeachment complaint against Leni Robredo, hindi pa po napo-process yun. Nasa committee pa yun, Committee on Justice. Yun namang…”

asked if Alvarez is encouraging an impeachment case against the VP even if President Duterte said he is not supportive of it, Alvarez replied, Wala akong pakialam kung ano ang sasabihin ng Presidente. We are a separate branch of government. Yung impeachment kasi, ayaw namin na magmukha naman kaming gago. Ipo-process namin, wala naman kaming ebidensya, it will not stand trial in an impeachment court, hindi ba? So nakakatawa naman kami roon. Kaya maghinay-hinay tayo diyan. “

asked about the impeachment complaint against Morales, Alvarez said, “Yung sa Ombudsman, unfortunately wala tayong mga ceritified true copies, so mga clippings, allegations, mahirap po.”

Alvarez explained that while impeachment at the Lower House maybe easy, the Senate—which will decide if the accused is guilty or not, is an entirely different ballgame. “Yes, kasi sa totoo lang, kung halimbawa, gusto lang namin iimpeach yung isang impeachable official, madali yun, may signatures lang na kailangan. Nasa majority kami, kaya lang, pagsampa niyan doon sa impeachment court, magmumukha kaming tanga doon. Ayokong mangyari naman yun.”