Cong. Sarmiento’s impeachment indorsement vs. CJ Sereno a “cause for concern,” partymates say

Top honchos of Liberal Party (LP) are singling out party member Rep. Edgar Mary Sarmiento (1st District, Samar) for endorsing the first impeachment complaint against Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno filed in the House of Representatives on August 30, this year. 
Samar 1st District Rep. Edgar Mary Sarmiento
Cong. Sarmiento, the only LP member, was among the 25 lawmakers who endorsed the complaint filed by Atty. Lorenzo Gadon. LP President Sen. Francis Pangilinan and Secretary General Rep. Kit Belmonte said in a joint statement that the Samar solon’s action is a “cause for concern.” 

“While the party has yet to firm up its position on the matter and while it recognizes the right of its members to take a position on issues, Rep. Sarmiento could have consulted the party leadership before making such important decision.” 

The two party officials claimed that the impeachment is a “double-edged sword.” 

“While it can strengthen democracy in a fair and impartial process, it can also destroy institutions if used to go after officials perceived to be uncooperative. Objective discussions among party members will help thresh out issues like this,” Pangilinan and Belmonte said. 

A second impeachment complaint against the chief magistrate was also filed in Congress. The complaint was filed by Atty. Dante Jimenez of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption and Eligio Mallari of the Vanguard of the Philippine Constitution. 

16 solons supported the 2nd complaint. 

Two congressmen from Region VIII, Rep. Ben Evardone (Lone District, Eastern Samar) and Rep. Rogelio Espina (Lone District, Biliran), are among the endorsers of this complaint. The two congressmen used to be members of LP during the administration of Benigno Aquino III. 

It was still unclear whether the two complaints will be consolidated as one. The basis for the impeachment cases against the chief justice include culpable violation of the Constitution, corruption, other high crimes and betrayal of public trust. 

Meanwhile, the camp of Cong. Sarmiento still has to make a comment on the party’s leadership statement. 

Sereno was appointed by Aquino after the LP majority impeached the late Renato Corona.
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