February 27, 2018
The House justice committee is set to vote next week on the existence of probable cause in the impeachment complaint lodged against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
According to Committee chairman Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, the panel will hear for the last time on Tuesday the impeachment complaint against Sereno which was filed by lawyer Lorenzo Gadon.
Umali said next week’s hearing gives members of the justice committee enough time to think about how they would be voting.
“Since it would all depend on the individual appreciation of the committee, I encourage everyone to be mindful of our timeline today so that we will be able to make an informed decision or judgment when we vote on the probable cause,” he told members of the committee.
Sereno is facing impeachment for alleged culpable violation of the Constitution, corruption, and betrayal of public trust.
27 February 2018
On reports that SC Justices asked the Chief Justice to go on leave indefinitely
The NUPL is disconcerted at reports that some magistrates of the High Court have asked the Chief Justice to take an ‘indefinite’ leave in an apparent effort to browbeat her in her own turf.
If true, this
exposes the widening cracks in the institution which impact on
the independence of the Judiciary, the Court’s very integrity, and ironically, on respect for the Constitution apparently because of political designs, personal considerations, or convenient acquiescence to the dark side.
We submit that the Justices are bereft of any basis in law where they could prevent any of their colleagues from discharging their oath of office under the guise of an official leave, much less declaring the post of a sitting justice vacant.
If the reports are accurate, we seriously regret that the concerned Justices have prejudged the impeachment proceedings that is yet to be concluded at the House of Representatives or of a possible trial in the Senate.
Worse, the said Justices have practically impeached their own colleague, instead of letting the process take its course in accordance with the Constitution they swore to uphold and to stand as supposed symbols of law and justice.
The losing party here is not the Chief Justice nor any Justice of the Court. It is also not the Court or the entire judicial system. It is the residual faith of the people in already unresponsive institutions whose roles are being wilted away, willingly or unwillingly, to de facto authoritarianism.#
Atty. Neri Javier Colmenares
Atty. Edre U. Olalia
(National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers Facebook)