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5 more justices to testify in Sereno impeach hearing

  • Written by Jester P. Manalastas
  • Published in Top Stories
  • Read: 323

AT least five Supreme Court Justices and a retired magistrate will appear next week in the impeachment
hearing to shed light on some issues involving Chief Justice Ma Lourdes Sereno.

Chairman of the House committee on justice Rep. Reynaldo Umali confirmed the attendance of the
six justices on December 11 in the continuation of the hearing.
    
Invited are Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo-De Castro, Francis Jardeleza, Noel Tijam,
Samuel Martires, Mariano del Castillo, and former Associate Justice Arturo Brion.
     
Sereno is facing a complaint in connection with 27 acts that constitute culpable violation of
the Constitution, betrayal of public trust, graft and other high crimes.
     
Meanwhile, at yesterday’s hearing, SC clerk of court Felipa Anama was grilled by the members
of the committee with regard to the raffling of the Maute Group case.
     
The complainant, Atty. Larry Gadon, accused Sereno of  causing delay in the transfer of the
case of Maute members from Cagayan de Oro to Manila.
     
The solons chided Anama for being seemingly evasive about the SC’s transferring of Maute cases
to the court in Taguig.
     
Anama argued that she could invoke confidentiality because her name was not mentioned in the
SC resolution that allowed court justices and employees to testify in the hearing.
     
Citing Rule 7 of the SC’s internal rules, Anama said she could not discuss confidential bar
matters, administrative cases, and criminal cases.
     
The lawmakers were asking Anama whether Sereno was a member-in-charge in the Maute cases.
Anama declined to confirm this.
     
This prompted a visibly irked Umali to intervene. He asked Anama to cooperate with the
committee, since Sereno herself already admitted in her verified answer that she was a member-in-
charge of the cases.
 
“Ayaw mo sabihin pero ‘yung si Chief Justice mismo nagsabi na siya ang member in charge so ano
pa ang tinatago natin kung inamin na ni Chief Justice?” Umali said.