Sereno unfazed, to snub House committee’s impeachment hearings
Unperturbed by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez’s warning, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno maintained that she would never personally appear before any impeachment proceedings against her – whether at the House of Representatives or other venues.
On Tuesday afternoon, lawyers of Sereno submitted to the House committee on justice a letter stating her decision to not personally attend the impeachment hearings but to let her legal representatives attend the proceedings in her stead.
This, even after Alvarez warned on Monday that House leaders would ban Sereno’s lawyers from attending the hearings if the chief magistrate would not personally show up at the House justice committee’s hearing on Wednesday.
Sereno executed a special power of attorney (SPA) authorizing her lawyers – Alexander Poblador, Dino Vivencio Tamayo, Anzen Dy, Justin Christopher Mendoza, Carla Pingui, Sandra Mae Magalang, Jayson Aguilar, Oswald Imbat, Enrico Edmundo Castello II, Charles Richard Avila Jr., and Patricia Geraldez – to represent her “in all stages of the impeachment proceedings” before the House justice committee handling the impeachment complaint filed against her by lawyer Larry Gadon.
The SPA also covers “all stages of any action or proceeding arising therefrom or related thereto, before any court, tribunal, agency, or body, including the House of Representatives, Senate, and the Supreme Court.”
In a letter addressed to House justice committee chairman Reynaldo Umali, her lawyers stressed that Sereno has the “right to appear through counsel and a denial thereof is a violation of due process.”
“If the purpose of the invitation is to hear her side, please take note that in accordance with the rules of the honorable committee, the Chief Justice already aired her ‘side’ in detail and under oath, in her verified answer and verified rejoinder,” they said. /kga
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