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Enrile joins House team vs Sereno

Manila, Philippines – House Justice Committee chairperson Mindoro Oriental Rep. Reynaldo Umali has confirmed that former Senate President Juan Prince Enrile will be part of the prosecution team that will attempt to convict Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno in her looming impeachment trial.

According to Umali, Enrile, 94, and a lawyer, would be of great help.

Umali said Enrile would most likely serve as adviser to the private prosecutors tapped by the 11-man House prosecution team which is composed of congressmen.

“Tama po yan…Siya naman ay available para tumulong sa prosecution nito,” Umali said following reports that Enrile has joined the effort to unseat Sereno before the Senate impeachment court.

“Adviser siguro,” Umali said of Enrile’s role, particularly with the private lawyers. “Hindi pa lang namin pinag-uusapan din pero definitely iba na rin yong meron kaming kasamang private practitioners, batikan sa litigation na aming makakasama sa team,” added Umali, who is also a lawyer.

The Justice panel voted 38-2 declaring probable cause in the impeachment complaint filed by lawyer Larry Gadon against Sereno, who is an appointee of the Aquino administration.

The panel is now busy crafting the articles of impeachment which will be used by the senator-judges in determining the Chief Magistrate’s guilt. A conviction will result to removal from her post.

Umali described the assistance to be provided by Enrile as invaluable, noting that he was the presiding judge during the impeachment trial of Sereno’s predecessor, the late Chief Justice Renato C. Corona.

“Being the first and the presiding judge noong Senate impeachment court ay lalo’t higit sa issue ng Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth na ito…sila ang nagdesisyon ay malaking kalinawan at malaking tulong ang maibibigay niya sa prosecution team,” the solon said. (Ellson A. Quismorio)