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House panel finds probable cause to impeach CJ Sereno

Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno

FILE PHOTO: Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno (UNTV News)

MANILA, Philippines — Voting 38-2 the House impeachment committee has found probable cause to impeach Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

After voting, the committee will form a technical working body to write the articles of impeachment

This is the first time that an impeachment complaint filed in the Lower House has gone through a committee hearing.

House Justice Committee chair Reynaldo Umali believes that after conducting 15 hearings they were able to gather strong evidence against the chief magistrate.

“All are strong evidence like the SALN, the tax, and the violation of collegiality of the SC,” he said.

But Dinagat Island Representative Kaka Bag-Ao who voted no in the committee disagrees with Umali, saying, “They failed to prove that there are impeachable offences. SALN? They did not even prove that she failed to submit her SALN, they don’t have evidence.”

Meanwhile, House Majority Leader Rudy Fariñas said he does not want to repeat the embarrassment they have experienced during the Corona impeachment trial. It can be recalled that Fariñas was a member of the prosecution team then.

“Pag dating doon para kaming nangangapa-ngapa doon. Napagsasabihan, napagtatawanan (We were struggling at the Senate trial. We were told off and laughed at),” he said.

This is why, he said, they will now carefully choose the best grounds in the complaint that will be included in the articles of impeachment to be submitted to the Senate impeachment court.

On March 14 the committee is set to put a vote on the articles of impeachment before submitting it to the plenary.

It will only take one-third or 98 votes from the plenary before the articles of impeachment can be submitted to the Senate impeachment court for trial. — Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue

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