STORIES OF THE DAY


HOUSE LEADERS MAY ALLOW CJ SERENO COUNSELS' REPRESENTATION, BUT MAY BE CONSIDERED 'INSUFFICIENT'



This was the response of house leaders on the appeal of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to allow her counsels to represent her and cross-examine complainant Atty. Larry Gadon and his witnesses.

However, Representative Sharon Garin said this is a chance for the high magistrate to defend herself it would be best if she can appear personally before the committee.

But late Monday, House Speaker Alvarez said that if CJ Sereno chooses to ignore the summons for her to appear in the hearing, he would bar her lawyers from being there.

Sereno's lawyers have earlier submitted two letters, as well as a formal motion, to the House justice committee to assert her right to cross-examine the witnesses against her through her counsel.

House leaders are certain. They will hold erring public officials accountable, a proof that no one is above the law. Amid criticisms, they said they are implementing democracy and due process in this impeachment complaint faced by the chief magistrate.

Prior to the resumption of the session on Monday, the impeachment hearing has already been calendared by the panel, where it also invited sereno to personally defend herself.

Meanwhile, Representative Garcia said the existing PIATCO case which involved House Speaker Alvarez is irrelevant as it is not the issue.

In an TV interview, Sereno said her lawyers are determining whether Speaker Alvarez had a role in the impeachment case against her.

The house leaders further ruled this out, saying that they are implementing due process in this case because if not, they should have let more than the required number of lawmakers sign the complaint.

The House Panel is set to conduct the hearing on the probable cause of the impeachment complaint on Wednesday, Nov. 22.