The House of Representatives Committee on Justice led by Representative Umali, chairman, deliberates on the allegation against #CJSereno on the ground of culpable violation of the Constitution by committing falsification, November 22, 2017.
Atty. Lorenzo G. Gadon verified complaint accuses Philippine Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P. A. Sereno of at least three instances of falsification:
- 2 instances of falsifying a Supreme Court resolution
- falsifying a Supreme Court TRO
The Justice Committee deliberates on the allegation to establish a probable cause. At the onset of the deliberation, the Committee raises some house rules on whether non-members of the Committee on Justice can participate. First raised by Representative Lagman, a non-member of the Committee, and supported by Representative Kaka Bag-ao.
The issue is motioned to move by Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia but objected by Rep. Bag-ao. Committee Chairman Rep. Umali divided the house; the majority maintained that non-members should not participate in due to time constraint, given that the impeachment process allows the house in just 60 session days. Meanwhile, Justice Committee rules that counsel of #CJSereno is barred from cross-examining Atty. Gadon, complainant.
Establishing a probable cause on the allegation of falsification, some members of the Committee argued that there is no falsification since the internal rule of the Supreme Court allows a chief justice to render actions on matters when the Supreme Court is on recess. Atty. Gadon argued that the said case for a TRO is already assigned and drafted by Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo-De Castro; hence, the rule on recess and urgency, where #CJSereno is allowed to render actions, is not applicable.The Committee opines that for the facts of the allegation to be established or verified, Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo-De Castro must be subpoenaed to attest the facts. When Atty. Gadon is asked about his primary source of facts on where his allegation of falsification is founded, he cited Jomar Canlas of The Manila Times. ▲