Solon won't back down on impeach moves vs SC

by Ron Gagalac, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 09 2014 02:51 PM | Updated as of Jan 10 2014 12:09 AM

MANILA (UPDATED) - There is no backing down on the impeachment complaint against several Supreme Court justices, according to Oriental Mindoro Rep. Rey Umali.

Umali, vice chairman of the House of Representatives justice committee, said at least 169 congressmen have signed the resolution affirming the stand of solons that it is the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) that is the sole judge of all contests relating to elections.

This is contrast to the recent move of the Supreme Court to act as arbiter in the electoral case of Rep. Regina Reyes vs Lord Allan Velasco.

Umali said he is bent on pursuing an impeachment complaint against five justices who voted "in favor" of awarding the seat to Velasco.

He said the primary charge that will be enunciated in the complaint will be Betrayal of Public Trust.

"The judiciary must be reformed and we will pursue this in the 16th Congress," Umali said.

He, however, admitted that while he already has 169 congressmen backing him on the independence of HRET, he hopes to get the same number of support when the impeachment complaint has been formally filed at the lower house.

"Mag-uusap kami and I hope that they will continue to support me," he said.

Umali said another option is to forward the complaint straight to the Senate but he has to have 97 solons signing the complaint.

"The Supreme Court cannot do this. They should rule this on the basis of law and jurisprudence," he said.

He added: "Hindi porke't may makikinabang na kapwa nila myembro ay magbabago isip nila."