Motion to Intervene Junked

November 19, 2008 § Leave a comment

The House Committee of Justice just junked our Motion to Intervene in the current impeachment case filed by ZTE whistleblower Joey de Venecia. Despite vigorous opposition from some members of the majority, the Committee ruled that the MOI should be treated as a separate complaint, hence, it should be reverted back to the Intervenors since it is covered by the one-year ban on filing impeachment complaints. House Majority Floor Leader Art Defensor who also chairs the House Committee on Rules earlier ruled that the MOI cannot be treated as an addendum to the original impeachment complaint since there seems to be no opinion on “intervention” as far as the rules are concerned. This is one area where the law is silent and probably should be resolved or construed by the Supreme Court. Some argued that the SC cannot intervene on this since it does not have the power to pry into the rules of the House.

Reviewing my constitutional one, the Supreme Court actually has the duty and the power to review Congressional acts, limited to the determination or construction of these acts according to prevailing jurisprudence. Meaning, even though the question would delve on the Rules of the House, the Supreme Court can be made to determine or construe the real intention of the House in making those Rules. Statutory Construction is one of the main purposes and powers of the Supreme Court.

I was informed by Manolo Quezon that the intervenors will go to the Supreme Court as a last recourse. Though the SC cannot recommend the House to decisively act on a purely executive matter, nonetheless, it would be good for Philippine jurisprudence that a case be filed before the Highest Tribunal to finally rule on what the “intervention” clause really mean. If the term “intervention” is being allowed in the rules of the Lower Chamber, what does this truly mean? Quezon will serve the Filipino People better if he again spearheads this legal initiative.

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