CJ camp: Alvarez assertion hints of 'strong desire' to remove Sereno from office
The camp of the Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno said on Friday that the recent statement of Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez only validates the latterâs âstrong desireâ to have the countryâs top magistrate removed from office.
Alvarez, on Thursday, made a fearless forecast and said that there was probable cause to impeach Sereno, a matter that is still being deliberated upon by the House committee on justice.
âThe statement of Speaker Alvarez only validates his strong desire to have the Chief Justice ousted,â Serenoâs spokesperson and lawyer Aldwin Salumbides said in a statement sent to Inquirer.ADVERTISEMENT
âThere is no letup in his attacksâ"verbal and personalâ"against Chief Justice Sereno,â Salumbides added.
The chief justiceâs legal team lamented that even before the House panel tackled the impeachment complaint, the H ouse leadership were already bent on pursuing Serenoâs removal from office.
âFor the Speaker to say at this point that thereâs âprobable causeâ to impeach our Chief Justice, is a little bit âlate.â Noon pa man bago pa magsimula ang hearing, may hatol na sila kay CJ. In fact, gusto nga nila na magbitiw na lang si Chief Justice,â he added.
Salumbides maintained that since the start of the impeachment hearings at the House of Representatives neither one testimony nor document has proved that Sereno committed any offense.
âAs far as her legal team is concerned, no single piece of evidence â"either documentary or testimonial â" has been presented to prove that an offense was committed; no incident will warrant her removal from office,â he said.
Serenoâs camp also downplayed the testimonies of Supreme Court officials, including that of Associate Justice Teresita de Castro, saying these only showed that some allegations were merely based on differences in their opinion.
âThe testimonies of Justice Teresita De Castro and other magistrates reveal nothing but differences in opinion with respect to internal administrative processes of the Supreme Court,â Salumbides pointed out.
âDifferent views do not imply any willful intention to violate the Constitution or our laws. Those are supposed to be addressed by internal measures and not by an extreme resort to impeachment,â Salumbides stressed.ADVERTISEMENT
Aside from De Castro, four more SC magistrates â" Associate Justices Noel Tijam, Francis Jardeleza, and Samuel Martires; and retired Associate Justice Arturo Brion â"expressed their willingness to appear and testify before the House justice committee on Monday, December 11. /kga
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