Sereno on relationship with SC justices: 'Hurts can be healed'

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 8) — Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno said her disagreements with other Supreme Court justices can still be settled.

"Bonds can be renewed. Friendships can be broken. Hurts can be healed," Sereno told  CNN Philippines on Thursday. "The movement to go forward can be pushed all in good time,  all if there is enough good will. I am more than confident, it can be done."

Sereno and other high court justices have been publicly at odds throughout the House Justice Committee's hearings on her impeachment complaint, with some of her colleagues saying Sereno should not have become Chief Justice.

Read: SC justices: Sereno's failure to submit SALN should have disqualified her application as CJ

Sereno said she does not hold ill will against those who testified against her.

"I think what people should understand about me is that my feelings are not that important," she said. "In the course of anybody's work, you will get instances when you feel that someone  has wrongly accused you. But when you focus on the job, you set it aside."

Sereno is facing charges of violating the Constitution, corruption, betrayal of public trust and other high crimes.

The House Justice Committee on Thursday found probable cause to impeach Sereno, saying there was "sufficient evidence" to prosecute her.

Read: Sereno on House panel vote: I knew the numbers were not in my favor

If one-third of the House agrees with the articles of impeachment, the case would be elevated to the Senate for trial.

Sereno said she holds no grudges against anyone for her impeachment.

"There is no point in harboring ill will," she said. "Why? Will it diminish you as a person if  somebody says bad things about you? No, it doesn't. If you know yourself, why should you be bothered too much if somebody says a non-true thing about you?"

'A non-issue'

Thirteen of her colleagues also said in a March 1 statement that Sereno should take an indefinite leave as she prepares for a possible impeachment trial.

Read: SC: 13 justices wanted Sereno to go on indefinite leave

The high court said it "regrets the confusion that the announcements and media releases of  the spokespersons of the Chief Justice have caused which seriously damaged the integrity  of the Supreme Court in general and the Supreme Court in particular."

The statement came a day after the lawyers of Sereno announced the Chief Justice would go  only go on a wellness leave from March 1 to 15, contrary to their meeting with Sereno.

Read: Chief Justice Sereno to go on leave as camp expects Senate impeachment trial

Sereno has since apologized for the confusion.

Read: Chief Justice Sereno apologizes for confusion over indefinite leave

Sereno said on Thursday that her colleagues' statement is a "non-issue."

"It does not affect me," she said. "I have already paid a huge cost for consistently standing for what I believed in. Every person has to be responsible for his or her actions. Right now, I'm focusing on my defense."