Sereno may ask SC help in impeachment case
Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno may opt to seek the judicial intervention of the Supreme Court in challenging the impeachment proceedings against her in the House of Representatives, according to a member of her legal team.
One of Sereno’s spokespersons, Carlo Cruz, said on Monday that the chief justice and her lawyers would weigh her legal options after the meeting of the House justice committee on Nov. 20.
Sereno’s lawyers had failed to convince the committee members to let them cross-examine the witnesses against her, including her primary accuser, lawyer Lorenzo Gadon.
“It’s an option, of course,” said Cruz when asked if the chief magistrate would urge her fellow justices to intervene on the legal issue.
“But I’m not aware of any plan to pursue it at this point. The chief justice and her lawyers shall make their assessment when the House committee on justice reconvenes,” he said in a text message.
Asked what would prompt Sereno to run to the country’s highest court, Cruz replied: “That’s their call. I can’t preempt their determination or strategy on this matter.”
Last week, the beleaguered chief justice claimed that some witnesses were being coerced to support the accusations against her by Gadon, a staunch supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte and former Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
Without elaborating, she told a group of Christian ministries that her rights were being violated.
“If my rights are not observed, nobody’s rights are safe in this country,” she pointed out. “If this can happen to a chief justice, it can happen to anyone.”
“It’s a basic right of every citizen to be defended by who she wants to be defended,” Sereno stressed.
Sereno, who succeeded the late Chief Justice Renato Corona after the latter was unseated by the Senate impeachment court in 2012, has been accused of intentionally hiding her real wealth and of arbitrarily issuing administrative orders without the concurrence of her colleagues in the high tribunal.
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