Impeachment complaint vs SC justices referred to House panel

MANILA, Philippines – The House plenary referred to the committee on justice the impeachment complaints filed against Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Teresita Leonardo de Castro and 6 associate justices.

The committee referral was done during the session on Tuesday, August 28.

The justice panel, headed by Oriental Mindoro 1st District Representative Doy Leachon, is set to determine if the impeachment complaints are sufficient in form and substance starting next Tuesday, September 4.

On August 23, 4 opposition lawmakers filed impeachment complaints against De Castro – still associate justice at the time – and the following 6 SC associate justices who voted to oust Maria Lourdes Sereno as chief justice through a quo warranto petition:

But two days later, on August 25, President Rodrigo Duterte appointed De Castro as the new Chief Justice

Her stint will be brief, as she is set to retire on October 8. 

On Tuesday, Leachon said the De Castro impeachment would be deemed “moot and academic” should she retire before the resolution of her impeachment complaint. 

But it would not affect the status of the impeachment complaints against the 6 other SC justices.

If at least one-third of the House affirms the impeachment complaints, they will be forwarded to the Senate for an impeachment trial.

A chief justice normally presides over the impeachment trial of a president, according to Senate rules of procedure. But in all other impeachment cases, including that of a sitting chief justice like De Castro, it is the Senate president who presides over the impeachment trial. 

A two-thirds vote of all members of the Senate would convict the justices and remove them from office. – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.

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