Speaker calls on Chief Justice to attend House impeachment hearing

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SPEAKER Pantaleon D. Alvarez — PHILSTAR

SPEAKER Pantaleon D. Alvarez called on Chief Justice (CJ) Maria Lourdes P. A Sereno before the House justice committee investigation on her impeachment, instead of defending herself in the media.

Mr. Alvarez made these remarks after the chief magistrate attended public engagements including a mass at the Parish of Holy Sacrifice in Quezon City and a youth forum in the University of the Philippines where she insisted that she had done nothing wrong and that she will not step down from her post.

During the Nov. 29 proceedings in the House of Representatives, Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo De Castro confirmed allegations that Ms. Sereno altered a temporary restraining order (TRO) and created the Judicial Decentralized Office in Region 7 as opposed to the resolution earlier agreed on by the members of the high court.

“This is the reason why she really needs to attend [the House committee hearing] to disprove [these] allegations and the evidence that was presented against her,” Mr. Alvarez said in Filipino.

Meanwhile, Akbayan Rep. Tomasito S. Villarin described Justice De Castro’s appearance in the House investigation as a “charade.”

“She has angsts against CJ Sereno since the latter was appointed chief justice and not her,” Rep. Villarin said.

The lawmaker alleged that the associate justice has “made it her crusade to villify CJ Sereno inside and outside the Court.”

Rep. Villarin added: “Her disposition shows bias and emotion-laden statements. She clearly has an axe to grind against her primus inter pares (senior) in the Supreme Court.”

“I believe that this charade is heading nowhere but to a ‘monumental f*ck up’ that the House should immediately dismiss so we can tackle other important business like the BBL (Bangsamoro Basic Law) and other priority legislation,” the lawmaker said. — Minde Nyl R. Dela Cruz