See - ‘BASED ON FAKE NEWS’ | Sereno calls for dismissal of impeach raps, cautions House vs abuse of power | News5 - InterAksyon
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‘BASED ON FAKE NEWS’ | Sereno calls for dismissal of impeach raps, cautions House vs abuse of power
By Lira Dalangin-Fernandez, InterAksyon
(UPDATE 4 – 11:55 a.m.) MANILA, Philippines — Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno called for the “dismissal” of the impeachment complaint filed against her by lawyer Larry Gadon, saying it was “based not on authentic records, much less personal knowledge” but “on conflated hearsay derived from news reports.”
“This is nothing short of an impeachment exercise based on fake news,” Sereno said in a statement, which is part of her 86-page reply the complaint that her lawyers submitted to the House Committee on Justice on Monday, Sept. 25.
“(T)he complaint should be dismissed not only because the charges are totally false but also because they do not constitute the grounds for impeachment under the Constitution,” she said.
Also, Sereno said the House of Representatives would be abusing its power “when impeachment is done without sufficient legal and factual basis.”
“If the grounds for impeachment of the Chief Justice can be trivialized to include any ground which Congress may consider, the fate of the Judiciary would be subjected to the whims of Congress,” Sereno stated in her reply.
She said the abuse of power by the legislative branch “would in effect place a co-equal branch at its mercy and imperil the very existence of our democratic form of government — a government which rests on the principle of independence and equality of the three great branches of Government.”
The chief justice likewise cautioned the House against Gadon’t call for the chamber to investigate a co-equal branch of government “under the guise of substantiating his false claim.”
“The extraordinary power of impeachment is not meant to be an excuse to investigate a co-equal branch for the purpose of substantiating what is in the first place not true,” said Sereno.
CJ won’t step down
Asked if Sereno would resign amid the complaint, Jojo Lacanilao, among the lawyers of the chief justice, said during a press conference on Monday that the “Chief Justice will not resign, she will fight this to the end and more. She is resilient, she will stay on.”
As to the chief magistrate’s current condition, Winnie Salumbides, also a lawyer of Sereno, said, “She is on top of her element…she is unfazed because she knows in her conscience she did not do anything wrong.”
‘Full of general denials, rhetorics’
Asked if Sereno sees the hand of President Rodrigo Duterte in the move to oust her from office, Lacanilao said, “It’s irrelevant kung ano’ng politika ang gumagana rito [The kind of politics that works here is irrelevant] because the Chief Justice is convinced it’s baseless and based on fake news.”
“Ito po at talagang hindi mananalo kung ang ating mga representatives ay gagamitin ang kanilang sense of political justice na nirerequire ng Constitution,” he added.
[This (complaint) won’t really succeed if our representatives would use their sense of political justice being required by the Constitution.]
While not discounting politics, Poblador said they would rather handle the matter “based on evidence and applicable law.”
Meanwhile, Gadon on Monday criticized Sereno’s reply to his complaint, saying it was “full of general denials and rhetorics which would crumble if confronted by hard evidence and testimonies of witnesses.”
“How can the judiciary as an institution be destroyed by removing one personality within?…The impeachment case was filed to protect the integrity of the judiciary which has suffered and in continuously suffering from the whimsical ways and attitude of Chief Justice Sereno,” said Gadon.
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