Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez wants the House committee on justice to hear the impeachment complaint filed against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
The House leader told reporters in a press briefing on Tuesday that many lawmakers who wanted to sign the complaint were approaching him.
When asked if he would allow them to sign it, Alvarez said, “Perhaps it is not needed right now…you know if we want that to go straight to the impeachment court it can be done. I do not want to do it. Because I want us to hear it first so that we can see if there is evidence or none, whether it can stand trial in an impeachment court.”
He recalled that the prosecution groped for evidence when the impeachment case of the late Chief Justice Renato Corona was sent to the Senate impeachment court.
“That is unfair. That is not good,” Alvarez said.
Sixteen lawmakers have signed a second impeachment complaint against Sereno filed by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption and the Vanguard of the Philippine Constititon. Earlier, 25 lawmakers endorsed the impeachment complaint filed against Sereno by lawyer Larry Gadon.
Gadon accused the magistrate of culpable violation of the Constitution, corruption, “other high crimes,” and betrayal of public trust for allegedly manipulating the Judicial and Bar Council that appoints judges; failing to truthfully disclose her statement of assets, liabilities and net worth, and; using public funds to finance a “lavish lifestyle” by supposedly ordering the purchase of a bullet-proof Toyota Land Cruiser.
The complaint second, filed by VACC chief Dante Jimenez and Eligio Mallari of the Vanguard of the Philippine Constitution, accused Sereno of undermining the powers of the full Supreme Court or en banc in the approval of foreign trips and appointments to various offices, among others.