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‘IF LAWMAKERS BELIEVE THERE IS A STRONG CASE VS TOP MAGISTRATE’

Sereno camp asks House panel to elevate articles of impeachment to Senate

/ 03:30 PM November 22, 2017

The camp of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno has urged the House justice committee to expedite its proceedings and transmit the articles of impeachment against the top magistrate to the Senate if they believe there is a strong case against her.

“It is our inclination to have the proceedings in the Committee expedited. If they (members) believe that the complainant has evidence then by all means prepare and file the articles of impeachment,” lawyer Alex Poblador told reporters on Wednesday.

With permission from the committee, Poblador and other members of Sereno’s legal team left Wednesday’s hearing early after the House justice committee voted to deny their motion, which sought to allow them represent and cross-examine complainant Atty. Lorenzo “Larry” Gadon and the witnesses.

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Lawmakers from the Makabayan bloc likewise left the hearing early after the committee similarly rejected a motion that would allow non-members of the panel to participate in the impeachment hearing.

READ: House justice committee bars Sereno’s lawyers to cross-examine witnesses

According to Poblador, the ruling of the committee has made their presence in the proceedings unnecessary.

“We have decided to leave because we can’t do anything,” he said.

READ: Sereno camp decries House panel vote vs cross-examination of complainant, witnesses by counsels

Despite this, Poblador said Sereno’s camp is confident in the strength of their defense that they look forward to raising it before the Senate.

Poblador pointed out that the chief magistrate has been denied the right to cross-examine Gadon and the wtiness, which was provided for by the House of Representatives’ own impeachment rules.

“I believe this ruling will prevent us from effectively defending the Chief Justice at this level before the Committee on Justice,” Poblador said.

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“We look forward to have this case brought before the Senate and we are confident that we will be able to defend the Chief Justice there consistent with her constitutional rights,” he added.

READ: Sereno camp on denial of right to counsel, cross-examination: ‘Sad day for justice’

/kga

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TAGS: Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, House justice committee, Impeachment, Senate
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