A LAWYER who filed an impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno said on Thursday that his witnesses were ready to be cross-examined when the committee on justice at the House of Representatives hears the complaint against Sereno.
“Ready ang mga witnesses ko [for cross-examination], para diyan pa langsa House [of Representatives]eh mapatunayan na [ang mga accusations],” Gadon told reporters after submitting a verified reply to the verified answer of Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno.
(My witnesses are ready for cross-examination, so the accusations can already be proven here at the lower House.)
Gadon said that he would be more than willing to cross-examine Sereno to shed light and elaborate on his complaint.
Gadon also said that he has six justices willing to testify and appear in court for him, not counting the court personnel, officials and experts.
But Rep. Reynaldo Umali of Oriental Mindoro, justice committee chairman, told reporters that cross-examination may only be held at the Senate and not the House of Representatives because the upper chamber would sit as an impeachment court to decide Sereno’s fate.
Earlier today, Sereno submitted a letter seeking the right to cross-examine and confront the witnesses in the impeachment case filed against her.
“The House rules specifically provide for direct examination and cross-examination. Yun lamangpo ang pinagbabasehannatindito. (That will be our basis) The direct examination will be conducted by the complainant. For witnesses that the complainant will be presenting, yunlamangpo ang hinihilingnamin, ang makapagtanong (that is our only request—to be able to ask questions),” lawyer AnzenDy told reporters after he submitted a letter from his client to the committee on justice at the House of Representatives on Thursday.
Sereno’s request stemmed from a statement by Umali, justice committee chairman, who said that cross-examination could be done at the Senate, which it sits as an impeachment court.
“At this point we trust that the honorable members of the House justice committee will apply all the provisions of the House rules and will accord the Chief Justice full rights to due process,” Dy said.
“If and when the House committee decides not to allow us to cross-examine the complainants’ witnesses, then we will take that up with the Chief Justice and decide on our course of action. As of this point, we have to trust the committee that it will, in fact, apply all the provisions of the House rules,” Dy said. Ralph Edwin U. Villanueva