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House justice committee postpones voting on articles of impeachment

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, March 13th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — Members of the prosecution team are in disagreement on certain matters concerning what to include in the articles of impeachment against Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno.

For this reason, the House Committee on Justice has decided to postpone the voting supposedly set tomorrow to Monday or Tuesday next week.

“Ang gusto ng iba ay comprehensive talaga to show that this is a very strong case and I believe so too,” said impeachment committee chairman, Representative Reynaldo Umali.

(Others want it to be really comprehensive to show that this is a very strong case, and I believe so too.)

According to Umali only issues on Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN), tax evasion and Sereno’s purchase of luxury car, are the items sure to be included in the articles of impeachment.

But according to the House minority group, the postponement just shows that the panel has no strong evidence against Sereno.

“From the very start, the complaint filed by Gadon was weak,” said Albay Representative Edcel Lagman.

Akbayan party-list Rep. Tom Villarin noted, “In the impeachment trial, they are not sure if they can defend the 27 cases being charged against the chief justice.”

Meanwhile, the committee is considering to include CIBAC party-list Rep. Sherwin Tugna, Pangasinan Rep. Marlin Agabas, and Atty. Biboy Malaya in the prosecution team against Sereno as they were among the members of the prosecution team during the Corona impeachment trial.

Also, the defense lawyers of the late former Chief Justice Corona voluntarily offered their free services to the prosecution team.

Former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, who was the presiding judge in the Corona Senate impeachment trial, is also part of the team.

“Ang criteria namin kailangan lawyer, kailangan litigator at preferably may experience in the past impeachment trial,” said Umali.

(Our criteria require members to be lawyers, litigators and preferably have experience in the past impeachment trial.)

— Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue

 

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Impeachment complaint vs. 7 SC magistrates ‘insufficient in substance’ – HOR

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, September 11th, 2018

The House Committee on Justice

 

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The House Committee on Justice ruled on Tuesday (September 11) that the impeachment complaint filed against the seven magistrates of the Supreme Court (SC) is insufficient in substance.

The House committee members voted 23-1 to drop the complaint filed by Albay Representative Edcel Lagman against SC Associate Justices Lucas Bersamin, Diosdado Peralta, Francis Jardaleza, Noel Tijam, Andres Reyes, Alexander Gersmundo and now Chief Justice Teresita De Castro.

During the hearing, Lagman insisted that the magistrates committed an impeachable offense for not inhibiting from the proceedings of the quo warranto petition filed against former CJ Maria Lourdes Sereno despite them being vocal of their grudges against her, and also for bypassing Congressional power to impeach an impeachable official.

“The Supreme Court cannot be supreme in its errors, particularly in the malicious decision. There is always a way in getting account and that is through impeachment,” Lagman argued.

On the other hand, several lawmakers opposed Lagman’s argument citing that the magistrates acted only as mandated by their judicial duties.

“The justices of the Supreme Court were duty bound to decide on the petition. Their fidelity of to their judicial duty is not an impeachable offense simply because none disagreed with their decision,” said Angkla Party-list Rep. Jess Manalo.

Cavite representative Strike Revilla said there is no reason to punish the magistrates while Rep. Henry Oamenal of Misamis Occidental said: “If the complaint would succeed then there would be no quorum in the Supreme Court.”

But according to House rules, the House Committee’s decision can still be contested and reversed if the complaint obtains 1/3 of the votes in the Lower House. – Grace Casin / Marje Pelayo

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Impeachment proceedings depend on SC decision on Sereno’s motion

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, May 15th, 2018

Supreme Court of the Philippines

 

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — The Lower House of Congress deferred its discussion on the impeachment complaint filed against former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

House Majority floor leader Rudy Fariñas said, they would have to wait for the Supreme Court’s decision on the motion for reconsideration that Sereno would file.

Fariñas added that if the SC rejects Sereno’s petition to nullify her ouster, the Lower House will dismiss the impeachment complaint.

However, if the SC reverses its first ruling and decides to reinstate Sereno, the House will proceed with the impeachment proceedings.

“The sole purpose of impeachment is removal of an officer from the position that officer is occupying. Pero kung tinanggal na, sino pa ang tatanggalin namin?” Fariñas explained.

The Committee on Rules has until July 25 to refer the articles of impeachment to the plenary. — Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue

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Minority senators to insist power as impeachment court over Sereno’s case

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, May 15th, 2018

 

Atty. Maria Lourdes Sereno a day before the Supreme Court granted the quo warranto petition that ousted her as chief justice.

 

PASAY CITY, Philippines —  Members of the minority in Senate are finalizing their move in order to proceed with the impeachment of ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

This was amid massive criticisms against the Supreme Court for favoring the quo warranto petition filed by the Solicitor General against Sereno.

“Mayroon kaming initiative and balita ko may iba pang initiative outside the minority,” said minority senator Risa Hontiveros.

Senate President Koko Pimentel, meanwhile, said that although he opposes the SC ruling, he explained that the Senate could only act as an impeachment court if the Lower House would forward the copy of the articles of impeachment to them.

But up until now, the Senate has no information yet as to the next move of the congressmen.

“Tanungin nyo na lang ang House of Representatives ano ang balak. Ang Senado ready kapag may na i-file sa amin. We will constitute ourselves as an impeachment court,” Pimentel said.

Still, Pimentel maintained that it is only through impeachment that an impeachable officer like Sereno shall be removed. — Joan Nano | UNTV News & Rescue

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