Tuesday July 17, 2018

Sereno warned against failure to attend impeachment hearing

HOUSE Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez has threatened to treat as scrap the documents filed by Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno in reply to the impeachment charges filed against her, if she will continue to snub the House committee on justice hearing.

At a press conference on Wednesday, December 6, Alvarez appealed to his colleagues to be objective on the ongoing proceedings of the committee on justice on Sereno's impeachment.

His appeal stemmed from justice committee chair Reynaldo Umali's order to look into the comments of some members of the house of representatives that cast aspersion on the ongoing proceedings.

"Let us be objective about this. Yung committee on justice, sinisikap nila na lumabas ang katotohonan (The committee on justice is trying to ferret out the truth)," Alvarez said.

"Ngayon yung mga denial ng naakusahan, nung iniimpeach ay dahan-dahan nakikita din natin na walang basehan ang kaniyang denials (Her denials are being shown to be without basis)," added Alvarez.

Alvarez said Sereno's failure to attend is a "big problem" as the house rules state that the committee could not accept documents that have not been sworn to.

"Problemang malaki 'yan dahil based on rules kapag 'di siya nagpakita dito e lahat po nung kanyang sinubmit na denials will be treated as a mere scrap of paper kasi hindi niya po sinumpaan yan dito sa committee and hindi rin siya nasubject sa cross examination (If she doesn't show up, everything that she submitted will be treated as mere scrap of paper because she did not swear an oath before the committee and she hasn't been cross-examined)," Alvarez added.

Sereno has refused to attend the justice committee's hearings on the complaint filed against her by complainant Lorenzo Gadon.

She earlier filed a motion before the committee to allow her legal counsels to represent her and cross-examine the witnesses on her behalf, but the committee rejected this. (SunStar Philippines)