Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno's team has no plans yet to seek redress with the Supreme Court (SC) in connection with the developments in her impeachment case, according to one of her spokespersons on Tuesday.
Lawyer Carlo Cruz said seeking judicial intervention could be an option by Sereno’s legal team even as they wait for the House of Representatives justice committee to act on her plea to allow her lawyers to cross-examine the witnesses against her.
Cruz said the issue, among others, may be raised with the high court.
“[B]ut I stress, that I am not aware of any plan or strategy of the chief justice or her lawyers at this point to file any petition before the SC. Best to wait for November 20 when the House committee on justice re-convenes,” Cruz said in a text message.
Sereno’s camp had said they would want to know the position of all committee members on the matter, despite House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez’s position that the top magistrate should personally appear before the committee so she can be given the opportunity to grill the witnesses in the impeachment case filed by lawyer Lorenzo "Larry" Gadon.
The chief justice’s lawyers insisted she has the right to cross-examine the witnesses against her through her lawyers as part of “due process of law” enshrined in the Constitution.
“We are still hopeful that the committee members would approve this simple, reasonable request. After all, we are all after the same thing—the truth,” Cruz said.
Sereno is facing an impeachment complaint for culpable violation of the Constitution, corruption, other high crimes and betrayal of public trust. The complaint has been deemed sufficient in grounds by the the House justice committee.
Sereno’s predecessor, the late Chief Justice Renato Corona, turned to the SC to stop the impeachment proceedings against him in the Senate, which eventually removed him from the post in May 2012 for his failure to declare his real income in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth.
Corona died of cardiac arrest on April 29, 2016 after years of battling diabetes. — BM, GMA News