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Impeach raps vs. CJ Sereno, Comelec chief Bautista referred to House Committee on Rules

The impeachment complaints against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and Commission on Elections chairman Andres Bautista have been transmitted to the House Committee on Rules.



In separate letters dated September 5, lawyer Darren de Jesus, head executive assistant of Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, referred the impeachment complaints to Majority Leader Rodolfo Farinas, chair of the rules committee.

Rule II, Section 3 of the Rules of Proceedings of Impeachment Process states that "[a] verified complaint for impeachment by a Member of the House or by any citizen upon a resolution of endorsement by any Member thereof shall be filed with the office of the Secretary General and immediately referred to the Speaker."

The Speaker has 10 session days from receipt to refer the complaints to the Rules Committee to be included in the Order of Business. The complaints will then be referred to the Committee on Justice within three session days.

The Committee on Justice will then determine the sufficiency in form and substance and find probable cause for the complaints.

Two impeachment complaints have so far been lodged against Sereno, one from Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption founding chairman Dante Jimenez and Vanguard of the Philippine Constitution Inc. president lawyer Eligio Mallari, and the other from lawyer Lorenzo "Larry" Gadon.

At the time of filing, Gadon's complaint was endorsed by 25 congressmen. On the other hand, the complaint of Jimenez and Mallari has 16 endorsers so far.

Meanwhile, the impeachment complaint against Bautista has been endorsed by three congressmen.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Alvarez said he will refer the complaints to the Rules Committee as soon as possible.

"Today also. Bababa yan sa Committee on Rules," he said.

The Speaker, however, said he is not poised to immediately transfer the impeachment complaints to the Senate for trial.

"Gusto ko, dito pa lang i-hearing muna natin. Para makita muna natin kung may ebidensya ba o wala, whether it can stand trial in an impeachment court," he said.

Rule IV, Section 13 of the Rules of Proceedings of Impeachment Process states that once a verified complaint is filed by one-third of the members of the House, it will be "endorsed to the Senate in the same manner as an approved bill of the House." — RSJ, GMA News