The bible of Philippine politics

No Arroyo meddling in dismissal of impeachment raps vs. SC justices – Leachon

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

House Justice Committee chair Salvador “Doy” Leachon has defended Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo from accusations of meddling with other legislators following the dismissal of the consolidated complaint against the seven Supreme Court (SC) magistrates who favored the quo warranto case against ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

Leachon said the allegations made by members of the Magnificent 7 bloc against Arroyo have no basis at all.

“Not at all. It’s her right to be there as Speaker of the House,” said Leachon.

Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, the impeachment complaints’ primary endorser, earlier accused the House leader of meddling with her allies in the majority bloc for the immediate dismissal of the charges.

Lagman hinted that the former President’s presence in the hearing was “an implied go signal to junk the impeachment complaints”

Leachon stressed that Arroyo was notified to be there in the proceedings “as ex officio member just like other officio members who were there.”

The Mindoro Oriental solon added that the former chief executive’s attendance in the justice panel must not be singled out to that effect of meddling since she also attended other hearings on Tuesday.

Voting 1-23, the committee junked the motion of Siquijor Rep. Ramon Rocamora who motioned to declare the charges against the seven magistrates “sufficient in substance.”

The 23 solons agreed that the combined impeachment charges filed against newly appointed Chief Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro and six other associate justices of the high court was “insufficient in substance.”

Aside from de Castro, also included the separate charges were Associate Justices Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Francis Jardeleza, Noel Tijam, Andres Reyes Jr., and Alexander Gesmundo.

De Castro, Peralta, and Bersamin were first appointed by Arroyo as Associate Justices of the high tribual during her stint in presidency.

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