House body can’t subpoena chief justice in impeach proceedings—Sereno camp
The House of Representatives’ committee on justice cannot subpoena Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno while it is determining the probable cause of the impeachment complaint against her, Sereno’s camp said on Thursday.
“Sa aming pagtingin, hindi siya maaring ipa-subpoena dahil meron na siyang karapatan na magpadala ng kanyang mga kinatawan na abogado para harapin ‘yung mga paratang sa kanya dito sa impeachment proceedings,” Atty. Josa Deinla, Sereno’s spokesperson, said in an ambush interview.
(It’s our belief that she cannot be subpoenaed because she has the right to send lawyers who will represent her and face the allegations against her in the impeachment proceedings.)
Deinla also said that as a respondent, Sereno has the right to cross examine witnesses on her behalf.
“Dito pumapasok ulit ‘yung giniginit niyang matagal na na hindi kailangan ng subpoena dahil may karatapan siya. Bilang isang respondent, may karaptan siya na kaharapin mga testigo na ipepresent ng complainant laban sa kanya. Mayroon siyang right to cross examination. Nasa rules ‘yan,” she said.
(This is where her longstanding belief that there is no need for a subpoena because she has the right. As a respondent, she has the right to face witnesses of the complainant against her. She has the right to cross examination.)
Sereno’s spokesperson said the House committee concerned cannot deviate from the rules of the impeachment proceedings on cross examination which she said was similar to the rules of holding criminal prosecution.
Earlier the committee voted 25-2 in finding sufficiency in grounds on the impeachment complaint against Sereno.
Justice committee chairman Oriental Mindoro Rep. Rey Umali said the committee will then proceed to the next stage determining the probable cause to impeach Sereno. /idl
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