House panel’s report on Sereno can be used as ‘evidence’ — Umali
The House justice panel’s committee report may be used as evidence if the executive branch decides to pursue a case against ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
House justice committee chairperson Rep. Reynaldo Umali said this on Tuesday, moments after the Supreme Court (SC), with a vote of 8-6, has denied Sereno’s motion for reconsideration (MR).
The MR has sought the reversal of the SC’s May 11 decision that ousted Sereno as the country’s top magistrate.
“Nasa executive na ‘yun (kung magpa-file ng kaso). Our role is just to prosecute it (impeachment case) sa Senado kung wala itong quo warranto. Any other actions, we will leave it to the executive to pursue,” Umali said in an interview.
The lawmaker did not clarify though whether he was referring to an administrative or criminal case.
He also said the justice committee’s report, containing its findings against Sereno, could “definitely” be used in filing charges her.
“Definitely. The report is an open document, a public document. Once the report is approved in the House plenary, then it can serve as basis in pursuing cases but that is not a legislative function and we will leave it to the executive if they so desire,” Umali said.
The committee report containing the articles of impeachment against Sereno, will most likely be presented to the House plenary, “and the plenary can just declare it as moot and academic,” he added. /vvp
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