Gadon: 5 more SC justices to testify against Sereno | Inquirer News
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Gadon: 5 more SC justices to testify against Sereno

Atty. Larry Gadon speaks at a news conference on Monday, December 18, 2017 in Quezon City regarding his impeachment complaint against Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
INQUIRER PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

Five more incumbent justices are expected to appear when the House proceedings on the impeachment case against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno resume in January, according to impeachment complainant Lorenzo Gadon.

Gadon identified them as Associate Justices Antonio Carpio, Samuel Martires, Mariano del Castillo, Diosdado Peralta and Andres Reyes Jr.

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Sought for comment, Sereno’s spokesperson, Aldwin Salumbides, dismissed Gadon’s statements as part of a “well-funded propaganda war.”

“It is still part of their psywar campaign to condition the mind of the public. Despite many lengthy hearings, no credible evidence was presented to prove that CJ Sereno committed an impeachable offense,” Salumbides said.

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Propaganda

“They constantly float new names and personalities of those who are supposed to testify against the Chief Justice. It is all part of a propaganda to make it appear that [she] is losing support among her colleagues in the Supreme Court,” he added.

Thus far, Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Noel Tijam and Francis Jardeleza have already testified against Sereno’s supposed failure to abide by internal procedures and consult the full court on various matters. Retired Associate Justice Arturo Brion also appeared before the committee.

In a press briefing on Monday, Gadon said he would ask the House of Representatives to subpoena the Chief Justice to compel her to appear before the chamber under the pain of arrest.

Gadon said there were issues that only Sereno could answer, such as those regarding her Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth and her personal data sheet.

Gadon noted that Sereno’s colleagues have already appeared before the House justice committee’s hearings to determine the existence of probable cause to pursue her impeachment.

“If there are justices who could appear, what is the reason for a Chief Justice not to appear?” he said.

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But Salumbides disagreed that Sereno could be compelled by Congress to appear because “she is not a witness subject to a subpoena process.”

Constitutional right

“CJ Sereno has a Constitutional right to be present or absent. Gadon and his masters and minions cannot brush aside our fundamental laws. They are the ones who deserve to be arrested or held in contempt,” he said.

He said even Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas had admitted that the House justice committee had no authority to force the top magistrate to attend its hearing.

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TAGS: Andres Reyes Jr., Antonio Carpio, Diosdado Peralda, Lorenzo Gadon, Maria Lourdes Sereno, Mariano del Castillo, Sauel Martires, Sereno impeachment, Supreme Court
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