AT least three psychiatrists will testify on the mental state of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno in an executive session — a hearing closed to the public — in connection with the impeachment complaint filed by Larry Gadon against Sereno at the House of Representatives.
This developed after the Committee on Justice, led by Rep. Reynaldo Umali, agreed to hear the testimony of Dulce Sahagun of the Medical City in Ortigas, Geraldine Tria and Genuina Ranoy.
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez of Davao del Norte agreed to grant legislative immunity to the three for their testimonies.
“We ask for executive session since we are guided by the principle of confidentiality in a doctor-patient relationship and at the same time, we would like to cooperate with the Committee,” Ranoy told lawmakers at the resumption of the impeachment hearing on Tuesday.
Another witness that will testify in executive session is Maria Milagros Fernan-Cayosa of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC), which screens and recommends prospective candidates for Chief Justice.
Cayosa initially refused to testify on the test results of Sereno but eventually gave in after Umali threatened to cite her in contempt.
The Manila Times published an exclusive story on an 11-page psychiatric report on Sereno in August 2012 in which the Chief Justice got a rating of 4 out of 5, with 5 being the lowest.
The report described Sereno as “dramatic and emotional,” and that “she appears energetic and all smiles and agreeable, but with religious preoccupation in almost all significant aspects of her life. She projects a happy mood but has depressive markers, too.”
The same report said that the Chief Justice has a “strong tendency to make decisions based on current mood; thus, outcome is highly subjective and self-righteous.” LLANESCA T. PANTI