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House panel endorses six charges of impeachment against Sereno

Written by Thailand News

The House of Representatives’ justice committee on Monday (March 19) agreed on six charges of impeachment against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, according to The Manila Times Online on Tuesday.

The charges largely focused on Sereno’s failure to submit a complete set of statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) and usurping the collegial authority of the Supreme Court.

Thirty-three lawmakers, including former president turned Pampanga representative Gloria Arroyo, voted in favour of the House resolution containing the six charges of impeachment against Sereno.

The House panel earlier voted 38-2 in finding probable cause to impeach Sereno based on the complaint filed by lawyer Lorenzo Gadon.

The panel chairman, representative Reynaldo Umali of Oriental Mindoro said the six charges or articles were anchored on strong evidence, documentary and testimonial, that will stand trial.

The House Committee on Rules led by majority leader Rodolfo Farinas of Ilocos Norte has 10 session days to recommend the articles of impeachment for plenary deliberation and voting.

The House will then have 60 session days or five months at most to decide whether or not to impeach Sereno and elevate her case to the Senate which would sit as a court to try her.

On Monday, palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said the palace would let the constitutional process take its course on the impeachment.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court en banc will today (March 20) tackle Sereno’s plea to drop the separate quo warranto petition filed against her by the Office of the Solicitor-General.

In her pleading, Sereno said the court had no jurisdiction to sack her via quo warranto because “the text of the 1987 Constitution, the Constitutional Commission’s deliberations, and established jurisprudence consistently state that impeachable officials like her can be ousted only by impeachment.”

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