House panel to summon SC associate justice, reporter at impeach hearing vs Sereno
The House committee on justice would summon a Supreme Court associate justice and a newspaper reporter to substantiate allegations that Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno falsified official documents in 2013.
During the House committee hearing on Sereno’s impeachment on Wednesday, complainant Atty. Larry Gadon said it was only through reporter Jomar Canlas that he confirmed Sereno’s alleged tampering of a temporary restraining order recommended by Associate Justice Teresita De Castro in 2013.
“I first read it in newspaper then I asked the reporter himself to explain to me the incident, and then I inquired also with some employees at the Supreme Court that I learned about it,” Gadon told the panel.
Oriental Mindoro 1st district Rep. Doy Leachon asked if Gadon was able to confirm with De Castro the alleged tampering of the TRO by Sereno.
“No, your honor. Not directly,” Gadon answered
“There must be some problem here,” Leachon then noted.
“Baka sabihin ng taumbayan, bakit hindi dinismiss? Serious ang allegations, at based sa allegations there must be more or less sufficient grounds, but in order for this to stand for trial, kailangan namin ma-substantiate ang claim,” Leachon also said.
The lawmaker, with backing from committee chairman Rep. Reynaldo Umali, then moved that the committee issue a subpoena to Canlas and De Castro.
Gadon filed an impeachment complaint against Sereno for alleged culpable violation of the Constitution, corruption, other high crimes, and betrayal of public trust. Falsification of documents falls under the culpable violation of the Constitution.
The House committee is conducting a hearing to determine whether there is probable cause to impeach Sereno. /kga
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