House Majority Leader Rodolfo Farinas insists on personal knowledge of the complainants as a requirement for any impeachment complaint to prosper before the House of Representatives. “complainant di ba. basahin niyo verification verification kasi ng complainant sasabihin niya i am complainant in this case that i have prepared or caused this complaint to be prepared that i have read it and that the allegations contained therein are of my own personal knowledge and or culled from authentic documents”
Farinas insisted on this requirement first implemeneted when it dismissed the impeachment complaint against President Duterte last year, where the Justice committee decided that the complainant, magdalo rep gary alejano did not have personal knowledge of his allegations against the chief executive.
The Majority leader was answering questions on the impeachment complaint filed against Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista, which includes an affidavit from his estranged wife on his alleged ill gotten wealth.
asked if having Mrs Bautista’s affidavit satisfies the requirement, Farinas said, “di ko alam if thats their strategy di ko sinabing di sapat yun if thats their strategy i dont know i will have to read the complaint how can i comment on it”
asked if Mrs Bautista’s testimony satisfies the requirement, Farinas said,”di siya complainant this is a very novel issue because it’s the wife against the husband and meron tayong marital or spousal privilege that one spouse cannot tetsify against the other except when its one between the other yun nasa rules of court very novel ito babasahin muna natin basahin ko muna yung complaint like i always tell you you report the news as it happens di ko pa nga nakikita yung complaint”
Farinas explained what will happen to the complaint now. “let the process begin it will be now brought to the speaker and the speaker will refer it to the Committee on Justice through the Committee on Rules so the speker has 10 days were given 10 days the complaint will comne to me kami magrerefer to the Committee on Justice pagka natanggap ko na we’ll meet on Tuesday after the budget process siguro. yes pagka makita ko mabasa ko may urgency at ok naman complaint i can refer it immediately para makapag set na ng date yung committee “
Farinas dismissed a question if having deputy speaker gwen garcia and cavite rep. abraham tolentino of the majority and kabayan rep. harry roque of the minority endorse the complaint is an indication of the support the complaint may have, Farinas said, ”di naman wala yun kailangan lang as required by the constitution it should be endorsed babasahin natin i havent seen the complaint ano ba yung complaint sino ba ang complainant what i know is that there are 2 complainants fmr cong paras titignan ko rin do they have eprsonal knowledge”
Farinas points out he reminded those seeking to impeach Supreme Court Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno of the same requirement. the majority leader admitted meeting with possible complainants.” like i told also those who were planning to file a complaint against the chief justice when they came to see me sabi ko eh the way i look at your complaints di tatayo yan sabi ko sa kanila mas mabuti ayusin niyo muna yan.”