Supreme Court Associate Justice attends Sereno impeachment hearing

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 29) — Associate Justice Teresita De Castro appears at the impeachment hearing Wednesday where she is expected to testify against the Chief Justice.

De Castro arrived at the Nograles Hall of the House of Representatives building at around 9:00 a.m. This is where the House Committee on Justice resumes hearing the complaint filed by lawyer Lorenzo Gadon against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

 

De Castro is the resource person for two charges against Sereno: the Chief Justice's alleged falsification of a Supreme Court resolution and her alleged tampering of a temporary restraining order — which was originally penned by de Castro herself.

House Justice Committee Chair Reynaldo Umali said he believes De Castro "will be the most explosive witness and resource person to give us the facts that we have been wanting to elicit by reason of her personal knowledge and not just authentic documents, but of course she can also testify on that."

The Supreme Court on Tuesday authorized only De Castro to testify in the impeachment hearing against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

READ: Supreme Court allows only one justice to testify on cases in impeachment complaint against Sereno

The high court sitting en banc also permitted all justices and officials to testify in the hearings, but only on administrative matters.

SC Court Administrator Midas Marquez also arrived at the hearing venue. Also invited were SC Associate Justice Francis Jardaleza, Former Associate Justice Arturo Brion, Clerk of Court Felipa Anama, and SC Spokesperson Theodore Te.

 

They are expected to shed light on the impeachment complaint, after lawmakers said Tuesday that Gadon failed to show proof of Sereno's lavish lifestyle.

In the impeachment case, Gadon accused the Chief Justice of violating the Constitution, corruption, betrayal of public trust, and other high crimes — grounds for officials to be impeached under the 1987 Constitution.

Sereno denied the allegations, and asked for the complaint to be junked.

CNN Philippines' Joyce Ilas and Eimor Santos contributed to this report.