Lagman to fellow solons: Weigh, not gather, evidence vs Sereno
The House committee on justice should act as an impartial investigator and not an “intrepid sleuth,” Albay Representative Edcel Lagman said Saturday, urging his fellow lawmakers to weigh, not gather, evidence against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
“The role of the House Committee on justice is to weigh the evidence, not to gather evidence to plug the gaping loopholes in the Gadon impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno,” Lagman said in a statement.
“The committee’s duty is to determine probable cause principally based on the complaint and evidence adduced by Gadon, and not to build up the case for Gadon,” he added.
“While Gadon is grinning at the sidelines, the committee members are the ones requesting for the appearance of invited witnesses to whom they instantly direct questions, instead of allowing Gadon to first initiate the direct examination,” the lawmaker noted.
Umali has denied that the committee was “plugging the loopholes” in the impeachment case, saying that there were authentic documents to build the case.
Lagman also took swipe at the committee for denying Sereno’s right to have her legal counsel cross-examine Gadon and his witnesses and barring lawmakers who are non-members of the committee from participating in the hearing, contrary to the “established parliamentary practice.”
He also called out Umali and the supermajority members for “actively monopolizing the proceedings in the so-called ‘impeachment committee.’”
Supreme Court Associate Justice Teresita de Castro has testified before the committee on Wednesday and divulged that Sereno “altered” the temporary restraining order that she recommended in 2013.
She also said Sereno has undermined the SC by reviving a judicial office in Cebu without the full consensus of the high court. /jpv
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