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SC justices at impeachment hearing: We’re not undermining judiciary

/ 07:44 PM January 15, 2018
Lucas Bersamin

SC Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin. (Photo by NOY MORCOSO / INQUIRET.net)

Justices testifying in the impeachment proceedings against the highest magistrate of the land believe that they are not undermining the independence of the judiciary.

Testifying before the House justice committee panel on Monday, Supreme Court (SC) Associate Justices Samuel Martires, Lucas Bersamin and Diosdado Peralta maintained that the impeachment hearing was part of a constitutional process.

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“We see this as part of the constitutional scheme, a reasonable exercise of your power to impeach,” Bersamin told the panel.

Peralta, meanwhile, said the justices respect the independence of the legislative branch that was why they accommodated the committee’s invitation to shed light on some allegations against Sereno.

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“We are respecting the independence of Congress,” Peralta said. “Kayo lang po ang may power to conduct impeachment proceedings kaya po ni-respect namin yung invitation ninyo. Kung sinubpoena ninyo kami baka magkaroon ng clash.”

Martires, for his part, believed that his testifying at the hearing was not to undermine the judiciary.

“I don’t think I have undermined the judiciary… I came here because of that invitation and not to undermine the judiciary,” Martires said.

A total of seven SC justices have so far heeded the invitation of the House committee, including Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo De Castro, Noel Tijam, Francis Jardeleza, and retired SC Justice Arturo Brion. /atm

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TAGS: Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Maria Lourdes Sereno, Samuel Martires, Sereno impeachment trial
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