SUPREME Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno is welcome to answer all the allegations in the impeachment complaint filed against her and to challenge all the witnesses during the proceedings, Rep. Reynaldo Umali said Sunday.
Umali, chairman of the committee on justice, made the statement even as Carlo Cruz, Sereno’s lawyer, said they will file an affidavit today saying “why the complaint must fail.”
“If she wants to appear, then we most welcome that,” Umali said.
“That’s her constitutional right to confront the witnesses. Her presence there would give her that opportunity to question or to raise issue or clarifications about the alleged acts committed that are supposedly violative of the Constitution or would constitute as ground for impeachment.
Sereno, an appointee of President Benigno Aquino III, is accused by lawyer Lorenzo Gadon of violation of the Constitution, betrayal of public trust, corruption and other crimes for her alleged litany of lapses.
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said six to seven Supreme Court justices would come forward and testify against Sereno.
Congress declared Gadon’s impeachment rap sufficient in form and substance.
Gadon claims Sereno bought an overpriced P5.1- million brand-new and high-end 2017 Toyota Land Cruiser with a P4-million bulletproofing job, failed to declare in her Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth the “exorbitant lawyer’s fees” amounting to $745,000 or P37 million, and expensive travel allowances, among other things.