Nograles: "I do not know these people."
MANILA - Just hours after the complaint was filed, Pwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) Party List Rep. Jericho Nograles on Tuesday bared that he did not endorse the impeachment bid against Vice President Leni Robredo.
This is contrary to the claim of lawyer Bruce Rivera, who said a lawmaker endorsed the complaint they had filed.
The lawmaker, son of former House Speaker Prospero Nograles and relative of President Rodrigo Duterte, said Rivera and suspended counsel Trixie Cruz Angeles came to his office with a copy of the complaint earlier Tuesday.
But he did not sign it and was surprised to see his name on the document. He has not even read the complaint.
An upset Nograles said he did not speak to the two complainants and did not grant them permission to use his name.
"No, I do not know these people. I have not met them. I have not [shaken] their hands even. When I asked them magkakilala ba tayo? Have we ever met? Have we ever spoken with each other? Sagot nila hindi (They answered no)," Nograles told reporters.
"Ganito kakapal. Ang nakasulat pangalan nila through Representative Jericho Nograles PBA Party-list vs. Leni Robredo (It was this thick. What was written there was their names through Representative Jericho Nograles PBA Party-list vs. Leni Robredo)," he said.
He called the complainants' deed "improper at best."
"What I find out is there is a group of people who want me to endorse something i have not read," Nograles said.
Nograles said he returned the complaint to the two.
"Binalik ko sa kanila. Anong gagawin ko diyan? 'Di ko trabaho iyan. Kung pinagkamalan ako na Karlo, bakit Jericho nakasulat? (I gave it back to them. What will I do with that? That's not my job. If they thought I was Karlo, why did they put Jericho?)," said Nograles, referring to his brother, Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles.
Nograles said the lawyers' move may subject them to disbarment. Already, Angeles is in the middle of a three-year suspension for violating the lawyers' code of conduct.
"I find it highly irregular for attorneys-at-law to use my name over a document they prepared without my consent. It can be misrepresentation. I would have to study that, [but] for the moment, I have already informed the Office of the Secretary-General that I have not endorsed any impeachment complaint against the Vice President," he said.
He said he asked the lawyers to leave immediately.
"They want me to endorse the complaint. When presented with the complaint, I was surprised to see my name... And [I said] 'I did not give you any authority to use my name. I do not know why you are presenting this to me and I said I'd like you to leave because you are using my name without my consent," Nograles said.
Earlier Tuesday, Rivera himself faced the media at the House of Representatives but declined to name the Representative to whom they left copies of the complaint.
Nograles' name was, however, floated, prompting the lawmaker to face the media.