February 24, 2018, 10:31 pm
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Alvarez: Sereno can’t dictate on House

CHIEF Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno is goading the House of Representatives to transmit the impeachment complaint against her to the Senate for trial because she appears to believe that she has the numbers to have it dismissed there, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said yesterday.

“I think the reason why she is rushing is she believes she has enough numbers there (in the Senate) but to me, let’s do this properly. Is there evidence or not? The people are watching (the hearings) and know that there is evidence,” Alvarez said.

The Constitution requires a vote of two-thirds of the all the members of the Senate to convict an impeachable official. There are only 22 senators since Sen. Alan Cayetano was appointed secretary of foreign affairs while Sen. Leila de Lima is still detained at Camp Crame.

Alvarez said Sereno cannot dictate on the House of Representatives where she refused to attend the impeachment hearings.

“Just wait,” he said. “She refused to face her accusers and the witnesses. That only means one thing – if we’re lying and we know this, it’s hard to face the truth.” 

Alvarez said the complaint maybe transmitted to the Senate in March, before Congress adjourns and goes on a Lenten break.

Alvarez said Sereno’s accusers led by lawyer Larry Gadon have been presenting evidence before the House committee on justice which is the process of determining if the complaint has probable cause before recommending that the articles of impeachment be sent to the Senate for trial.

“In fact, her fellow justices have testified against her. That’s unprecedented in the history of the Supreme Court,” he said.

Alvarez said the fact that Sereno’s colleagues are coming out in the open to discuss accusations against her only means that “she has a problem.”

“I think the psychiatrist who examined her will also testify that she did not meet the required qualification,” he said.

The justice committee last week subpoenaed Sereno’s psychiatric records, including the psychiatrists who administered the examination that she reportedly failed in 2012.

The panel called psychiatrists Dulce Liza Sahagun-Reyes and Genuina Ranoy who were hired by the Judicial and Bar Council to conduct the test on Sereno.

The two psychiatrists reportedly gave Sereno a rating of “4” from a scale of 1 to 5, with “5” being the lowest which means that while she projected a “happy mood,” she also exhibited “depressive markers.”

Sereno, the chairman of the JBC, also reportedly refused to renew the contracts of the two psychiatrists and terminated them in 2013.

The matter was raised in support of allegations of betrayal of public trust that Gadon raised in his impeachment complaint.
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