Another Catholic bishop defends Leonen

Supreme Court Justice Marvic Leonen. PHOTO FROM SC WEBSITE

December 16, 2020

Another Catholic bishop has defended Supreme Court Justice Marvic Leonen, who is facing an impeachment complaint.

Bishop Cerilo Casicas of Marbel said he cannot be silent “when a defender of the poor and the oppressed is being assailed”.

“I find malicious the filing of this complaint, and its timing suspect. it reeks of self-interest,” Casicas said. “And it merely seeks, it seems to us, to remove a thorn in the side of certain personalities.”

The case filed before the House of Representatives stemmed from allegations that Leonen committed culpable violation of the Constitution for supposedly failing to dispose of at least 37 cases within 24 months.

The complaint also accused Leonen of “arbitrarily, willfully, intentionally, and deliberately” delaying the resolution of cases pending in the House of Representative Electoral Tribunal where he sits as chairperson.

The SC previously denied a request of lawyer Larry Gadon and the Office of the Solicitor General to have access to Leonen’s Statement of Assets and Liabilities or SALN for quo warranto petition.

Bishop Casicas said there seems to be “concerted effort” to bring down “an esteemed justice”.

“And I decry any and all efforts to bring him down in the name of self-serving ends,” he said.

Bishop Jose Collin Bagaforo of Kidapawan, national director of Caritas Philippines, has earlier deplored the impeachment complaint against Leonen.

He called for the dismissal of the complaint, “which clearly has no merit”.

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