Makabayan bloc: House panel’s impeach vote against Sereno ‘highly irregular’

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The Makabayan bloc on Thursday slammed the House committee on justice for its 38-2 vote finding probable cause to impeach Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

The group noted how the panel, led by its chairman, Oriental Mindoro second-district Rep. Rey Umali, “went straight to voting whether or not there was probable cause, without enumerating the grounds for impeachment.”

“This proceeding is highly irregular,” Makabayan said.

“The members of the Committee voted as to the existence of probable cause without knowing or informing the public, specially the respondent CJ Sereno, as to which ground for impeachment such probable cause exists,” it added.

“This move is unprecedented; even during the impeachment of Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez and Former Chief Justice Corona, the committee enumerated the grounds for impeachment for which the committee found probable cause prior to taking a vote, since not all of the grounds alleged in the impeachment complaint satisfied the probable cause standard in these past cases,” Makabayan said.

The group4 added, “We condemn this highly irregular impeachment process not only as a denial of the due process right of CJ Sereno but more so for being a grave disservice to the Filipino people.”

The Makabayan bloc is composed of Carlos Zarate of Bayan Muna, Emmi de Jesus and Arlene Brosas of Gabriela, Antonio Tinio and France Castro of ACT-TEACHERS, Ariel Casilao of Anakpawis and Sarah Elago of Kabataan.