Sereno appearance in hearing of impeach raps not necessary


AN OPPOSITION lawmaker on Friday said Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno does not need to appear at the resumption of hearings by the House Committee on Justice of the impeachment complaint filed against her by lawyer Larry Gadon.

The committee has sent an invitation to Sereno to personally appear before it on November 22, when the panel will determine whether there is probable cause in the complaint.

According to a statement by Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, the Chief Justice can effectively and legally appear through her counsel on record, who could also cross-examine Gadon and his witnesses on her behalf.
Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, in reply, said it is really Sereno’s call on whether she will attend the hearing.

“The task of the [committee]is to determine probable cause, thus we need to determine whether the accusations can be substantiated or controverted and she is the best person to rebut any evidence put forward by the complainant,” Umali told The Manila Times in a text message.

Lagman disagreed with the opinion of Umali, also the chairman of the justice committee, that the Chief Justice herself must make the cross-examination.


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