“Voting 38-2 with zero abstentions, majority of the members of the House panel affirmed on Thursday (March 8) that there is probable cause in allegations that Sereno committed culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of public trust, corruption, and other high crimes.” – Inquirer reports
Ano kaya ang dahilan kung bakit nagmamdali ang House Committee on Justice in declaring na may probable cause sa mga allegations against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno when in fact they haven’t discussed every allegation in the impeachment complaint?
Narito ang mga pangalan ng mga congressmen who voted that there is probable cause against the Chief Justice:
1. Johnny Ty Pimentel
2. Raneo Abu
3. Eric Singson
4. Fredenil Castro
5. Gwendolyn Garcia
6. Mylene Garcia-Albano
7. Benhur Lopez
8. Rodolfo Fariñas
9. Ferdinand Hernandez
10. Juan Rimpy Bondoc
11. Arthur Defensor
12. Roger G. Mercado
13. Ann K. Hofer
14. Vincent Crisologo
15. Aurelio Dong Gonzalez
16. Victoria Isabel Noel
17. Gerald Anthony Gullas
18. Alfredo Garbin
19. Eugene De Vera
20. Anthony Bravo
21. Luis Jose Campos
22. Carlos Roman Uybarreta
23. Rodante Marcoleta
24. Romeo Acop
25. Abigail Faye C. Ferriol – Pascual
26. Ciriaco Calalang
27. Vicente Ching Veloso
28. Doy C. Leachon
29. Henry Oaminal
30. Strike Revilla
31. Roy Loyola
32. Marlyn Primicias-Aggabas
33. Lucy Gomez
34. Rose Marie Baby Arenas
35. Ruwel Peter Gonzaga
36. Xavier Jesus Romualdo
37. Rodel Batocabe
38. Ron Salo
Ngunit nagpapasalamat tayo sa Makabayan Bloc na naninindigan na walang basehan ang findings ng nasabing committee:
MAKABAYAN BLOC STATEMENT ON THE FINDINGS OF PROBABLE CAUSE TO IMPEACH CJ SERENO
There is NO PROBABLE CAUSE to impeach Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. After several months of hearing the Gadon Impeachment Complaint, nothing was shown or proven that rises to the level of impeachable offense.
Contrary to the position taken by the majority members of the Committee on Justice, the Gadon impeachment Complaint failed to show probable cause that CJ Sereno committed any impeachable offense.
In fact, the grounds for impeachment were not even deliberated upon. The Committee went straight to voting whether or not there was probable cause, without enumerating the grounds for impeachment.
This proceeding is highly irregular. The members of the Committee voted as to the existence of probable cause without knowing or informing the public, specially the respondent CJ Sereno, as to which ground for impeachment such probable cause exists. This move is unprecedented; even during the impeachment of Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez and Former Chief Justice Corona, the committee enumerated the grounds for impeachment for which the committee found probable cause prior to taking a vote, since not all of the grounds alleged in the impeachment complaint satisfied the probable cause standard in these past cases.
What is sure is that this ceremonial voting by the Committee is part of the orchestrated and systematic maneuvering by the Duterte administration and its minions to force the CJ to just resign. It is also a sign that even after several months of hearing the same, the Committee has found nothing on CJ to impeach her.
It is unfortunate that instead of substantiating the allegations in the Impeachment Complaint, the committee proceedings became a platform to expose the internal bickering and personal issues of the members of a co-equal branch of government. Exposing these to the public only resulted in putting more questions to the integrity and independence of the judiciary – which, to many people is in fact illusory.
The proceedings likewise became a venue for fishing expedition. At the beginning of the proceedings, Complainant had been admonished quite frequently to present evidence that are not hearsay and are material to the allegations. But despite such order from the Committee, the Complainant failed to produce evidence sufficient to hurdle the probable cause standard.
Towards the end of the committee proceedings, it becomes apparent that Complainant himself does not believe in his impeachment complaint. Complainant even called for the CJ to resign instead and threatened court employees with graft cases. Complainant just last week said he preferred that CJ Sereno be ousted through quo warranto process. These pronouncements betray Complainant’s belief as to the weakness and baselessness of the impeachment case that he filed.
Recent events – the filing of a quo warranto complaint in the Supreme Court; the threats of filing graft cases against court employees is CJ does not resign; the indefinite leave of the CJ; the various cases subsequently filed in the Ombudsman – show an orchestrated and systematic attempt of this Duterte administration and his minions to heighten the pressure on the CJ to force her to resign instead.
It appears that even they are not convinced of the merits of the impeachment case that is why they are resorting to these extralegal and extra constitutional efforts.
Even the House leadership support the quo warranto complaint in the SC, and are willing to perform a self-clipping of its own constitutional power of impeachment, in order to give way to a seemingly more convenient approach of eliminating the CJ.
Nevertheless, despite these sorry state of our governance, one thing remain true – that the committee, despite many months of hearings, failed to show to the Filipino people any convincing ground to impeach the CJ.
We condemn this highly irregular impeachment process not only as a denial of the due process right of CJ Sereno but more so for being a grave disservice to the Filipino people.
Ang tanong: Ano kaya ang dapat gawin ng publiko para maipakita nila ang kanilang taos-pusong suporta kay CJ Sereno sa pambabastos ng House Justice Committee?