Philippines: Probable cause for Sereno impeachment seen in Feb 18

  • The House committee handling the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno will decide in Feb 18 if there is probable cause to send the case to the plenary for final approval.
  • Committee chairman Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali said they would hold four more hearings in Feb 18, which will include the voting among some 50 members.
  • When the 292-member House upholds the report, Sereno will then be considered impeached and the Articles of Impeachment prepared by the lawmakers will be sent immediately to the Senate Impeachment Court, where senators will sit as judges in a court-like trial.
  • Psychiatrists and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) officials who have been summoned are expected to appear at the hearing, Umali said. Dulce Liza Sahagun-Reyes and Genuina Ranoy will testify on the psychiatric records of Sereno when she was applying for chief justice in 2012.
  • Reports showed the psychiatrists hired by the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) gave Sereno a rating of “4” from a scale of 1 to 5, with “5” being the lowest. According to the same report, such grade meant that while she projected a “happy mood,” she also exhibited “depressive markers.”
  • The report added that after the test results were revealed, Sereno, who was chairman of the JBC, refused to renew the contracts of the two psychiatrists and terminated them in 2013.
  • The BIR officials will testify on the tax records of Sereno, who only filed her supposedly annual statement of assets, liabilities and net worth three times – 1998, 2002 and 2006 – since she became a UP law professor in 1986.

External Link :