House justice committee to vote on probable cause in Sereno impeachment
The House justice committee is set to vote next week on the existence of probable cause in the impeachment complaint lodged against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
According to Committee chairman Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, the panel will hear for the last time on Tuesday the impeachment complaint against Sereno which was filed by lawyer Lorenzo Gadon.
Umali said next week’s hearing gives members of the justice committee enough time to think about how they would be voting.
“Since it would all depend on the individual appreciation of the committee, I encourage everyone to be mindful of our timeline today so that we will be able to make an informed decision or judgment when we vote on the probable cause,” he told members of the committee.
Sereno is facing impeachment for alleged culpable violation of the Constitution, corruption, and betrayal of public trust.
Since the panel started hearing Gadon’s complaint in November 2017, Umali said the testimonies given by several resource persons, including Sereno’s fellow justices at the Supreme Court, showed that there were “alarming” issues within the SC.
“The hearings we’ve conducted since November have proven that there were alarming issues within the High Court,” he said.
Umali said this “necessitates an evaluation of Sereno’s fitness to continue holding office as head of the third branch of the government or the judiciary.”
Following the voting of the committee members, the committee report will then be fielded in plenary for all members of the House of Representatives to vote whether to approve or reject it.
If the resolution would be approved by at least one-third of all voting House members, it would then be transmitted to the Senate, which will then form itself as the impeachment court. /muf
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