MANILA — Three associate justices of the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday appeared before the House of Representatives’ justice committee’s resumption of its hearing on the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
SC justices Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, and Samuel Martires will be testifying on issues under the culpable violation of the Constitution ground.
Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, however, declined the House committee’s invitation to attend the impeachment proceedings against the top magistrate, noting that he has no personal knowledge of the issues regarding the impeachment complaint filed by lawyer Lorenzo Gadon against Sereno.
SC justices Noel Tijam, Francis Jardeleza, and Teresita Leonardo De Castro, as well as retired justice Arturo Brion, testified in the proceedings of the justice committee on the impeachment complaint against Sereno in December last year.
In their testimonies, the four SC justices said Sereno had shown disrespect for the entire court and her colleagues and violated the collegial nature of the court through unilateral actions without the approval or contrary to the decision of the court en banc.
During his opening remark, House justice committee chair Reynaldo Umali commended all the SC magistrates for appearing and testifying in the impeachment proceedings against Sereno.
“Let us continue to remain faithful to our sworn constitutional duty,” Umali said.
Umali said his panel intends to complete the impeachment proceedings by the end of February, or on the first week of March at the latest.
Umali said the committee report will then be submitted to the plenary before Congress goes into a Holy Week break in March. (PNA) By Filane Mikee Cervantes