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House justice committee postpones voting on articles of impeachment
MANILA, Philippines — Members of the prosecution team are in disagreement on certain matters concerning what to include in the articles of impeachment against Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno.
For this reason, the House Committee on Justice has decided to postpone the voting supposedly set tomorrow to Monday or Tuesday next week.
“Ang gusto ng iba ay comprehensive talaga to show that this is a very strong case and I believe so too,” said impeachment committee chairman, Representative Reynaldo Umali.
(Others want it to be really comprehensive to show that this is a very strong case, and I believe so too.)
According to Umali only issues on Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN), tax evasion and Sereno’s purchase of luxury car, are the items sure to be included in the articles of impeachment.
But according to the House minority group, the postponement just shows that the panel has no strong evidence against Sereno.
“From the very start, the complaint filed by Gadon was weak,” said Albay Representative Edcel Lagman.
Akbayan party-list Rep. Tom Villarin noted, “In the impeachment trial, they are not sure if they can defend the 27 cases being charged against the chief justice.”
Meanwhile, the committee is considering to include CIBAC party-list Rep. Sherwin Tugna, Pangasinan Rep. Marlin Agabas, and Atty. Biboy Malaya in the prosecution team against Sereno as they were among the members of the prosecution team during the Corona impeachment trial.
Also, the defense lawyers of the late former Chief Justice Corona voluntarily offered their free services to the prosecution team.
Former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, who was the presiding judge in the Corona Senate impeachment trial, is also part of the team.
“Ang criteria namin kailangan lawyer, kailangan litigator at preferably may experience in the past impeachment trial,” said Umali.
(Our criteria require members to be lawyers, litigators and preferably have experience in the past impeachment trial.)
— Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue
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