Enrile may be part of prosecution at Sereno impeachment—Umali
Former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile could possibly stand as the adviser of the private prosecution panel against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno at her impending impeachment trial, House justice committee chair Rep. Reynaldo Umali said on Sunday.
“Tama po ‘yan, kasama rin pong kino-consider ‘yan (That’s right, it’s part of what we’re considering), as part of the prosecution team,” Umali said over a radio dzBB interview.
Pressed if Enrile, who was the presiding judge during former Chief Justice Renato Corona’s impeachment trial in 2012, had agreed to be part of the prosecution team, the lawmaker said: “Ganun po ang sitwasyon ngayon, siya naman ay available para tumulong sa prosecution.”
(That’s the situation now, he’s available to help in the prosecution.)
The house justice committee chair is also eyeing lawyer Tranquil Salvador III, a member of Corona’s defense team, to be among the private prosecutors.
Umali said they are still on the process of creating their prosecution panel, which would be composed of House members or public prosecutors and private prosecutors.
Last Thursday, the House justice committee ruled that the impeachment complaint against Sereno had probable cause.
The panel is set to present on March 14 its committee report, as well as the articles of impeachment, which would be presented before the plenary for voting.
If the report gets one-third votes of the entire House members, the lower chamber would then transmit the impeachment complaint to the Senate, which would consequently turn into an impeachment court.
Sereno, who is on an indefinite leave, is also facing a quo warranto petition before the Supreme Court that seeks to nullify her appointment for allegedly being unqualified as chief of the high tribunal. /je