[Statement] Impeachment case vs Leonen – a desperate act by a desperate Bongbong Marcos -iDEFEND

Impeachment case vs Leonen – a desperate act by a desperate Bongbong Marcos
In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement (iDEFEND)
December 21, 2020

IDEFEND calls on Congress to junk immediately the unfounded, farcical impeachment complaint against Supreme Court Justice Marvic Leonen.

While we respect and uphold the right of the people to seek accountability from erring public officials, this impeachment complaint is nothing but a frantic act of desperation by Bongbong Marcos to gain a seat in Malacañang. Justice Leonen is the justice-in-charge of the Marcos electoral protest with the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET). The Marcos camp views Leonen as a critical voice in the Court that must be silenced.

In the past weeks, we have witnessed the scurry of actions of the Bongbong Marcos camp. In the first week of November, Solicitor General Calida, with lawyer Lorenzo Gadon, requested for Justice Leonen’s statement of liabilities and net worth (SALN), apparently in preparation for a quo warranto case against Leonen. This was the same controversial tack that was taken by Gadon to remove then Supreme Court Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno. However, the Supreme Court denied the request of SG Calida. With nothing to move them forward with the quo warranto, SG Calida and Bongbong Marcos filed a motion with the Supreme Court calling for the inhibition of Justice Leonen from participating in the electoral protest proceedings filed at the PET. This was unanimously denied by the Supreme Court.

And now, this impeachment complaint filed in Congress by Gadon, on behalf of a certain Edwin Cordevilla and quickly endorsed by Marcos’ cousin, Cong. Angelo Marcos Barba. Despite the obvious connection, Gadon continues to insist that this has nothing to do with the electoral protest of Bongbong Marcos.

The Congress must see this for what it is – a desperate attempt by Bongbong Marcos to remove what he considers a hindrance to him securing a position in the Malacañang; a weak, unfounded petition, with no impeachable offense cited. Retired Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio demolished every ground raised by Gadon in the petition, and other legal luminaries have declared this petition as baseless.

Congress must immediately declare this as lacking in substance.

The use of accountability mechanisms, such as impeachment, should be reserved for serious offenses – such as graft and corruption, betrayal of public trust, treason. Not willing to be bullied by a power greedy Marcos is not a serious offense. It is called integrity. A trait that is becoming scarce in this government.

We strongly urge Congress to focus on real urgent issues that Filipino people face today – deepening poverty with 7.6 million families experiencing hunger, increasing unemployment rate, with 7.3 million unemployed Filipinos, and the COVID 19 crisis that we are in, with 449 thousand cases.

Junk the Marcos’ impeachment petition against Justice Leonen.

Never again to Marcos. Never again.

SIGNED iDEFEND MEMBERS:

  1. Emmanuel Amistad, Task Force Detainees of the Philippines
  2. Egay Cabalitan, HR Online Philippines
  3. Marie Marguerite M. Lopez, SANLAKAS
  4. Judy Pasimio, LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights)
  5. Virgie Suarez, Kilusan Para sa Pambansang Demokrasya
  6. Rene de la Cruz, ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura
  7. Jaybee Garganera, Alyansa Tigil Mina
  8. Joseph Purugganan, Focus on the Global South
  9. Edeliza Hernandez, Medical Action Group
  10. Ritz Lee Santos III, Balaod Mindanao
  11. Zeena Manglinong, Freedom from Debt Coalition
  12. Kapatiran sa Dalawang Gulong KAGULONG
  13. Daryl Leyesa, Pambansang Koalisyon ng mga Kababaihan sa Kanayunan
  14. Rose Trajano, Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates
  15. Jelen Paclarin, Women’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau
  16. Leo Mendoza Jr. Extinction Rebellion Philippines
  17. Wilson Fortaleza, Partido Manggagawa
  18. Dino Manrique, Writer, iDEFEND individual member
  19. Rowena Legaspi, Children’s Legal Rights and Development Centre
  20. Leni Velasco, DAKILA Philippine Collective for Modern Heroism
  21. Joy Lascano, BALAY Rehabilitation Center, Inc.
  22. Valtimore Fenis, Mindanao Peoples’ Peace Movement
  23. Jhay de Jesus, True Colors Coalition
  24. Alyansa ng mga Mamamayan para sa Karapatang Pantao
  25. Liza Garcia, Foundation for Media Alternatives

SIGNED iDEFEND NETWORKS:

  1. Pablo Rosales, PANGISDA
  2. Inged Fintaylan
  3. Rene Pamplona, Environmental Rights Advocate
  4. Sibuyanons Against Mining (Romblon)
  5. Ang Aroroy Ay Alagaan-4As (Masbate)
  6. Solidarity for Environmental Education, Protection and Development
  7. Nagkakaisang Tribo ng Palawan
  8. Non-Timber Forest Product-Exchange Program Philippines
  9. Lakeshore Farmers-Fishers Women’s Organization (Agusan del Norte)
  10. Baywatch Foundation (Surigao Del Sur)
  11. BILEG (Nueva Vizcaya)
  12. Didipio Earth Savers Multi-purpose Association/DESAMA (Nueva Vizcaya)
  13. Maporac Aeta Organization (Zambales)
  14. KUMASA Na (Central Luzon)
  15. Rhodora Abano, NGO Worker

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