MANILA - Opposition senators on Tuesday criticized the filing of an impeachment complaint against Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, calling the move a "pointless fiasco."
Tackling an impeachment complaint against Leonen during the COVID-19 pandemic is "nonsense," Sen. Francis Pangilinan said in a text message to reporters.
"Pandemya at mga problema ng lupasay na ekonomiya at kawalan ng trabaho at gutom ng taumbayan ang dapat tinututukan ng mga nanunungkukan, hindi itong walang kakwenta-kwentang impeachment case," he said.
(We should focus on the pandemic and the problem of our slumping economy, job loss and hunger, instead of this worthless impeachment case.)
Sen. Risa Hontiveros called the ouster call against Leonen "unnecessary and counterproductive."
"This is a distraction that will only drag lawmakers and the public into a pointless political fiasco at a time when government's efforts should be focused on helping Filipinos affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the country's battered economy," she said in a statement.
"Kailangan din siguro natin tanungin: Sino ba ang lubos na makikinabang sa paggulong ng impeachment complaint na ito? Surely, not the Filipino people," she said.
(We have to ask: Who will benefit from this impeachment complaint? Surely, not the Filipino people.)
The impeachment complaint against Leonen was filed by a certain Edwin M. Cordevilla, said to be the secretary-general of the Filipino League of Advocates For Good Government or FLAGG. It was subsequently endorsed by Ilocos Norte 2nd District Rep. Angelo Barba.
Barba is the cousin of Sen. Imee Marcos and former Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., whose electoral protest against Vice President Leni Robredo remains pending at the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET).
Leonen, one of the 3 remaining appointees of former President Benigno Aquino III, is the Supreme Court member-in-charge of Marcos' electoral protest at the PET.
The filing of an impeachment complaint against the SC justice comes after the PET dismissed Marcos' plea for Leonen to inhibit in his electoral protest case.
The Marcos' camp denied involvement in the impeachment complaint.