SC en banc forced Sereno to go on leave – Umali
It was actually the Supreme Court (SC) en banc who decided that Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno go on leave, House justice committee chair Oriental Rep. Reynaldo Umali said on Tuesday.
In the middle of Tuesday’s congressional hearing on Sereno’s impeachment, an exasperated Umali made a manifestation chiding Sereno and her spokespersons for telling the media that she went on a wellness leave, instead of admitting that the SC en banc compelled the top magistrate to go on an indefinite leave.
“Ito mismo,sila nagsasabi ng kasinungalingan. ‘Yung wellness leave it was an indefinite leave… Majority, if not all of en banc head, forced her to go on leave,” Umali declared.
“Iba ang lumalabas sa bibig niya o bibig ng mga spokespersons niya. Pati yata mga spokespersons niya nahawa na sa kasinungalingan.”
“We are fed up with lies. We are fed up with deception,” he added.
Quoting court sources, Inquirer earlier reported that Sereno will take an “indefinite leave” starting March 1, Thursday, after the allegations in the impeachment complaint against her have been allegedly raised and discussed by the Supreme Court justices during an en banc session.
But Sereno’s camp later contradicted the report, saying the Chief Justice would merely go on a “wellness leave” from March 1 to 15.
“It has already been scheduled from March 15 to 23 but she is advancing it so she can prepare for her defense at the Senate,” lawyer Josa Deinla, Sereno’s spokesperson, said in a text message.
Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio will reportedly be the SC’s acting Chief Justice in the absence of Sereno. /kga
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