House returns to Sereno impeachment hearing with 3 justices
The House justice committee would resume on Monday, Jan. 15, the impeachment hearing against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno with three more magistrates of the Supreme Court expected to testify.
Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio had declined the invitation of the impeachment panel, but three of his colleagues were expected to attend: Associate Justices Lucas Bersamin, Diosdado Peralta and Samuel Martires. Also invited was Supreme Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez.
The justice committee, chaired by Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, was determining whether there was probable cause to impeach Sereno, after finding the complaint to have sufficient form, substance and grounds.
If the committee found probable cause, the impeachment case would be sent to the plenary for approval. The House needed only the vote of one-third of its 293 members to send the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate acting as an impeachment court.
Carpio declined to testify in the impeachment hearing at the House, claimed “no personal knowledge” of the issues raised against Sereno.
He previously asked Umali what questions the committee would likely ask him.
“I regret to inform you that I have to decline to testify on the matters mentioned for the reason that I have no personal knowledge of these matters,” Carpio wrote on Jan. 10 in response to four of the issues raised against Sereno.
The charges against Sereno included failing to declare her real wealth, buying a luxury car with government funds and making questionable decisions.
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