House panel issues subpoenas for Sereno psychiatric report

Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 15 2018 06:29 PM | Updated as of Jan 16 2018 02:05 AM

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MANILA - The House Committee on Justice on Monday afternoon approved the issuance of subpoenas for the psychiatric exam report of and the psychiatrists who examined Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno when she was applying for the position of chief justice.

This comes as Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta revealed during the continuation of the House Committee on Justice hearing on the impeachment complaint against Sereno that he was not aware of issues regarding the Chief Justice's psychiatric report, which was reported by Jomar Canlas of the Manila Times.

Peralta was Acting Chief Justice at the time of Sereno's selection.
 
Peralta said that had he known about the psychiatric exam result, he would have raised it.
 
"Frankly, walang sinubmit na psychiatric test. Ako pa pinagsususpetsahan nagleak sa dyaryo. Had I known may problema dyan, I could have brought that up sa deliberations," he said. 
 
The House meanwhile rejected a motion by Siquijor Rep. Ramon Rocamora to subpoena psychiatric exam reports of other justices.
 
Rocamora said his intention was to see if other justices who received results similar to that of Sereno were still appointed to their posts.
 
"But if it can be shown that there are other applicants and they were appointed to SC, why single out CJ Sereno?" he explained.
 
But the motion was defeated when only Rocamora and Rep. Kit Belmonte supported it.

Lawyer Carlo Cruz earlier warned the tests have no connection to the impeachment complaint against Sereno.

"If they open this up, this can lead to similar questions pertaining to the psychiatric competence of many other high-ranking officials in government. I would not want to pursue that because that would be immaterial," he told ANC's Early Edition.