SERENO CAMP: HOUSE IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS WILL BE NOTHING BUT A CHARADE
By: VIRGIL LOPEZ
The camp of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Monday wondered why the House of Representatives is still conducting hearings on the impeachment complaint when Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez already thinks there is sufficient basis to put her on trial in the Senate.
Lawyer Josa Deinla, one of Sereno's spokespersons, said the ongoing proceedings at the House justice committee has been rendered futile by panel chairman Reynaldo Umali's statement on Sunday that the hearings would "perhaps" be a matter of formality in light of Alvarez's pronouncement last month.
“Why will the CJ attend the hearing when Umali has said that it’s a mere formality because Speaker Alvarez wanted her impeached and they will impeach her? Deinla said.
“In view of this, the impeachment proceedings will be nothing but a charade and that the House Committee on Justice will just be resorting to a vilification campaign and fishing expedition to cover up for a fatally defective complaint against the Chief Justice,” she added.
Umali, however, said when the committee voted that the complaint is sufficient in form and substance as well as the grounds for impeachment, "this proceeding has taken a life of its own."
"Thus, members of this impeachment committee are sitting as investigating prosecutors who may eventually become impeachment prosecutors in the Senate, if the committee will find probable cause and the House plenary will approve the same," Umali said in his opening statement during the resumption of the impeachment proceedings following the Christmas break.
Deinla maintained the hearings have not produced any solid evidence and sufficient grounds to impeach Sereno./MP