Alejano decries 'double standard' on House's impeachment hearings

MAGDALO Partylist Representative Gary Alejano on Wednesday said he cannot help but notice the "double standard" by the House justice panel when it tackled his impeachment complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte compared to deliberations for Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno's.

Alejano was the first person who filed an impeachment complaint against Duterte last March. It was junked by the House panel for insufficiency in substance.

"I cannot help but comment on how [the complaint against Sereno] was deliberated before the House committee on justice. The hearing today showed the glaring double standards on how the impeachment case against Chief Justice Sereno and the impeachment case against President Duterte were treated," Alejano said.

Alejano said lawyer Larry Gadon, the complainant in Sereno's impeachment, was allowed to make an opening statement.

"In my case, I was not only prevented to deliver an opening statement. I was prevented to even speak during the proceedings," Alejano said

He added that Gadon was only asked to swear on the truthfulness of the verification, but in his case, he was "probed and bombarded questions without even being given the chance to explain."

Alejano also noted that the panel seemed to have made it easy for Gadon, as the latter was allowed to cite newspaper reports in his complaint.

"Atty. Gadon has cited newspaper clippings as basis of the complaint meaning he has no personal knowledge. The members of the committee justified this. In my case, the citation of newspaper clippings was simply dismissed as hearsays arguing that I have no personal knowledge," he added.

Gadon's complaint against Sereno was able to satisfy the requirements for sufficiency in form and substance.

"Clearly, it only depends on the political direction of the majority. Ika nga, 'pag gusto may paraan, 'pag ayaw maraming dahilan (They say, 'if you want there's a way to do it, if you do not want a lot of reasons')," Alejano said. (SunStar Philippines)