MANILA–A group of volunteer lawyers and professors on Tuesday submitted an impeachment complaint against Vice President Leni Robredo to a congressman’s office for proper endorsement.
In a press conference, lawyer Bruce Rivera, spokesperson of the so-called “Impeach Leni Movement” initially intended to file the impeachment complaint before the Secretary General of the House of Representatives at 1 p.m., but was later instructed to “send it to a congressman’s office”.
A complaint filed by any citizen should get the endorsement of a sitting congressman before it will be referred to the House committee on justice for hearing.
Rivera, however, refused to divulge the identity of the lawmaker whom they requested for endorsement.
“We actually filed an impeachment and it is with the congressman whom you will know in the future,” Rivera said.
Rivera was the former lawyer and spokesperson of alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles.
According to Rivera, the grounds for impeachment against Robredo are betrayal of public trust, culpable violation of the Constitution, graft and corruption, and other high crimes.
The “Impeach Leni Movement” sought the ouster of Robredo for her video message to the United Nations where she criticized the administration’s anti-drug campaign; her alleged “misdeclaration” of her Meralco shares stated only as “business interests” in her Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth; and her alleged “sponsoring” of a national convention on empowerment, not housing, in the United States using Pag-IBIG funds.
The group is composed of Rivera, lawyers Trixie Angeles, Tom Berenguer, and Prof. Antonio Contreras, among others.
For his part, PBA Partylist Rep. Jericho Nograles cried foul over the group’s attempt to link his name into the impeachment complaint against Robredo, saying that “they used my name for a document that I did not approve.”
Nograles, who happens to be President Rodrigo Duterte’s nephew, said a copy of an impeachment complaint was left in his office, but he denied that he will endorse it.
“I’m actually shocked that my name is being dragged into this but I have nothing to do with any impeachment complaint,” Nograles said.
“I will not endorse this complaint,” he added, stressing that he needs to maintain objectivity as a member of the House justice committee.
Once the verified complaint has been filed it shall be included in the Order of Business within 10 session days, and referred to the House Justice committee within three session days for hearing.
The Justice panel, by a majority vote, submits its report to the House within 60 session days, and the House calendars it within 10 session days.
A vote of at least one-third of all members of the House is needed before the complaint is transmitted to the Senate for trial.