Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen on Thursday said the dismissal of the impeachment complaint against him was a reminder to “not waste our time and resources for narrow parochial gains.”

In a statement, Leonen urged politicians to focus instead on dire threats to the country like the pandemic.

“This is not the time to destroy institutions to satisfy greed and lust for power. We cannot progress by destroying the lives and reputation of others,” Leonen said.

The impeachment complaint was unanimously dismissed by lawmakers on May 27, 44-0, on grounds of lack of substantial evidence.

Deputy Speaker Rufus Rodriguez said the complaint did not meet the requirements for the filing of impeachment as it was not based on the complainant’s personal knowledge, and the evidence lacked authentic records.

“A dismissal on the basis of the mere face of the impeachment complaint affirms the baselessness of the grounds raised. It is an act that powerfully speaks for itself,” Leonen said.

The magistrate also commended the House of Representatives for upholding judicial independence.

“The House of Representatives has just affirmed the constitutional independence of the Judiciary by not allowing others to take advantage of the vulnerability of its members. They have created a precedent that warns against the abuse and trivialization of constitutional processes,” Leonen said.

The impeachment complaint against Leonen was filed in December 2020 by Edwin Cordevilla of the Filipino League of Advocates for Good Government.

He accused Leonen of failing to file his statements of assets and liabilities (SALN) when he was dean and professor at the University of the Philippines.

Failure to file a complete set of SALNs was the reason for the removal of former chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno via a quo warranto petition in 2018.

Ilocos Norte Rep. Angelo Marcos Barba, cousin of former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., endorsed the impeachment complaint.

Leones wrote the decision that dismissed Marcos’s electoral protest against Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo. Isabell Andrea Pine