Impeach-Leonen an option, lawyer urges SolGen


A lawyer said Sunday the initiation of an impeachment complaint against Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen was still an option over Leonen’s failure to file his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth over the years.

Lorenzo Gadon said that would be appropriate if Solicitor General Jose Calida would act favorably on his letter-request urging him to file a quo warranto petition for Leonen’s removal.

“Impeachment will be an option,” Gadon said.

“I will assess that move upon receipt of the certified copies of the SALNs as it may be more practical and appropriate for the Solicitor General to file a quo warranto petition.”

Gadon, citing as precedent the case of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, said he was hoping that the high court would act on the matter on Tuesday to make public Leonen’s SALNs.

The Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees mandates government officials and employees to file their yearly statements of assets and liabilities.

Gadon on Friday expressed optimism that Calida would act favorably on his letter-request to file a petition against Leonen.

He said it was Calida’s petition for quo warranto that nullified the appointment of Sereno as Chief Justice for six years, and also for not filing her SALNs.

“I am confident that Solicitor General Calida will grant my request,” Gadon said.

The Manila Standard sent Calida a text message seeking his reaction, but he did not reply. Sought for comment, Brian Keith Hosaka, the head of the high court’s Public Information Office, said: “Justice Leonen has no comment on this matter.”

Manila Times columnist Rigoberto Tiglao has said in his column that Leonen supposedly failed to submit his SALN for 15 years: from 1989 to 2003 and from 2008 to 2009.

Leonen was a professor at the University of the Philippines’ College of Law and chairman of the government peace panel before becoming associate justice in November 2012.

In a Sept. 7 letter, Gadon urged the Supreme Court to disclose Leonen’s SALNs from 1990 to 2011.

He said the request was not new, citing his similar letter asking for the SALNs of Sereno, which was granted by the high court on Aug. 15, 2017.