Senate readies rules for Sereno impeachment trial
Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III on Saturday assured the camp of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno that the Senate was reviewing its impeachment trial rules to ensure it would be more than just a numbers game.
“In the House, especially when finding probable cause, it’s a numbers game. But when it reaches the Senate, it’s a trial,” said Pimentel, who is mandated to preside over all impeachment trials except that of the President.
In cases involving the President, the Chief Justice is tasked to preside over the Senate impeachment court.
Pimentel conceded that any impeachment proceeding would ultimately be decided by votes but “it will be a mix of numbers, law and sense of justice” in the case of Sereno.
‘Sense of justice’
Moreover, Pimentel said the senators also had a “sense of justice.”
“We’ll make sure that the conclusion is supported by evidence,” said Pimentel, who is one of 10 incumbent senators who were part of the 2012 impeachment trial of former Chief Justice Renato Corona.
The nine other senators are former Senate President Franklin Drilon and Senators Francis Escudero, Gregorio Honasan, Panfilo Lacson, Loren Legarda, Francis Pangilinan, Ralph Recto, Vicente Sotto III and Antonio Trillanes IV.
Pimentel said the Senate was already reviewing its impeachment rules after the House committee on justice, voting 25-2, found sufficient grounds to hear the impeachment complaint against Sereno on Thursday.
“We are reviewing already the impeachment rules. We will fine-tune it so that the process will be simpler,” said Pimentel, adding that the rules will be ready for publication by next week.
“We have started it because … the House [is deliberating on] four impeachment cases. I’m sure that at least one of those cases will push through,” he said.
The Senate president made the remarks after Sereno’s camp said on Friday that numbers cannot overtake truth and justice in efforts by allies of President Duterte to impeach the Chief Justice.
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