Sereno camp slams Gadon for using impeach hearing as ‘fishing expedition’
“The people’s money should never fund a fishing expedition,” the camp of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno said of the House justice committee hearing last Wednesday.
Sereno’s camp, in a statement on Thursday, denounced the committee and complainant Larry Gadon for supposedly using the impeachment hearing as “a venue for fishing expedition in a desperate and vicious effort to obtain evidence” against the chief magistrate.
Lawyer Josa Deinla, one of the spokespersons of Sereno, called it “appalling” for Gadon and some members of the committee “that they had to embark on a ‘fishing trip’ for evidence.”
Deinla said that Gadon’s several requests to subpoena witnesses and documents during the hearing determining probable cause to try Sereno proved that Gadon’s allegations have “no strong and solid bases.”
“Mr. Gadon’s resorting to fishing expedition, with the aid of some members of the committee, served to highlight one crucial fact—there is no solid evidence and sufficient grounds for impeachment against the Chief Justice,” Deinla said.
Sereno’s camp also slammed the justice committee, chaired by Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, for allowing Gadon “to put the cart before the horse and get away with it.”
During Wednesday’s hearing, Quezon City Rep. Jose Christopher “Kit” Belmonte, an opposition lawmaker, observed that the committee might have been doing Gadon’s work and building the case for him.
“I’d really like to stress to my good friend (Gadon) and his counsel na ang trabaho po natin sa committee is to determine probable cause. Di ba ho? Ang nangyayari ho ay parang tayo po ang nagtatrabaho para sa kanya, para i-build ‘yung ebidensyang kailangan niya,” Belmonte told the committee.
(The job of the committee is to determine probable cause, right? What happened is as if we are the ones working for him to build the evidence he needs.)
Belmonte added: “Baka naman po pwedeng, tutal ikaw naman ang nag-a-allege, ikaw naman ‘yung mag-provide sa amin [ng ebidensya]. Hindi ‘yung kami nag-case build para sa inyo.”
(Since you are the one alleging, why don’t you provide the evidence to us? We shouldn’t build the case for you.) /je
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