Home » Headlines » House panel: Enough basis to impeach CJ

House panel: Enough basis to impeach CJ

By: Ben R. Rosario

The House Committee on Justice yesterday found sufficient grounds to pursue the impeachment of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P.A. Sereno.

Next in the panel’s agenda will be to determine probable cause in filing the impeachment case that contains 27 allegations supporting the grounds of culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of public trust, graft, and other high crimes that complainant Atty. Lorenzo Gadon wrote in his complaint.

Voting 25 for and two against, the committee approved a motion presented by Misamis Occidental Rep. Henry Oaminal, panel vice chairman, declaring that there is sufficient ground for congressmen to determine Sereno’s culpability.

Liberal Party Reps. Christopher Belmonte (Quezon City) and Kaka Bag-ao (Dinagat Island) registered the opposing votes.

Gadon and Sereno were not present during the impeachment proceedings that followed the finding sufficiency in form and substance.

During the over two-hour deliberations, the panel chaired by Mindoro Oriental Rep. Reynaldo Umali also treated as “mere scrap of papers” the two letters sent by Sereno.

In the letters sent to the panel, Sereno, through her lawyers, urged the House to grant her and her lawyers the right to cross-examine witnesses to be presented by Gadon.

“These look like scrap of papers to me. How can the lawyers be writing a letter when they have formally sent verified answer and rejoinder to the complaint,” said House Majority Leader Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo T. Farinas.