SC dismisses disbarment case vs Leonen
Says Associate Justice Leonen may only be removed by impeachment
MANILA - The Supreme Court (SC) has dismissed the disbarment case filed by Atty. Elly Pamatong against Associate Justice Marvic Leonen on the ground that Leonen is an impeachable officer who may only be removed from office by impeachment.
In a 3-page resolution by the court en banc dated Jan 15, the high court invoked Sec. 2, Art. XI of the 1987 Constitution which reads:
"The President, the Vice-President, the Members of the Supreme Court, the Members of the Constitutional Commissions, and the Ombudsman may be removed from office, on impeachment for, and conviction of, culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes, or betrayal of public trust. All other public officers may be removed from office as provided by law, but not by impeachment."
"In view of the foregoing, the Court hereby dismisses the petition outright for lack of legal basis pursuant to Sec. 2, Art. XI of the Constitution and its supporting jurisprudence," the resolution read.
Aquino appointed Leonen to the Supreme Court last November 21.
Leonen filled up the position vacated by then-Associate Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno who was appointed Chief Justice last August.
Prior to his appointment to the High Court, Leonen served as the government's chief negotiator in the ongoing peace negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
The former UP law dean was considered a front-runner for the position after crafting the Framework Agreement for the Bangsamoro signed by the government and MILF last month.