Justice De Castro, SC exec appear for Sereno impeach raps
Supreme Court Associate Justice Teresita de Castro faced the House justice committee deliberating the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
This was after the Supreme Court’s en banc allowed on Tuesday the justices and SC employees invited by the committee to attend the impeachment proceedings against the chief magistrate.
Aside from De Castro, Associate Justice Noel Tijam, retired Associate Justice Arturo Brion, SC Information Chief Atty. Theodore Te, Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez, SC Chief judicial staff officer Charlotte Labayani, and En Banc clerk of court Felipa Anama were also invited.
But only De Castro and Marquez appeared in today’s hearing.
In her opening statement, De Castro welcomed the invitation to the hearing as this would allow her to correct supposed misinformation spread since the start of the impeachment proceedings.
“I believe this is the proper venue where I can correct the misinformation that has been spread many times during this hearing,” De Castro said.
De Castro and Tijam, in their letter to the House justice committee last Nov. 24, said they were willing to attend the hearings once they get clearance from the high court.
The justices were summoned to shed light on allegations that Sereno tampered with court documents and deliberately delayed the transfer of Maute cases to Taguig court.
De Castro, however, was only allowed by the en banc to testify on the following:
- Her exchange of communication with the Chief Justice regarding the case involving the Coalition of Association of Senior Citizens in the Philippines Party List;
- The case on the appointments of Sandiganbayan justices;
- On the petition of then Solicitor General, now Supreme Court Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza about the shortlist of candidates for the high court.
In all three cases, De Castro was not allowed to discuss the court’s deliberations. /cbb
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