Sereno camp: Psych test 'irrelevant, immaterial' in impeach raps

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 17 2018 11:47 AM

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A mental evaluation of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno that she supposedly flunked before she became the nation's top magistrate is irrelevant to the impeachment complaint against her, according to her spokesperson. 

House Justice committee chair Reynaldo Umali had said he will invite to the impeachment hearing the psychiatrists who conducted the test and whose contract were allegedly not renewed upon the assumption of the Chief Justice. 

Umali has admitted that the psych test was not among the 27 points raised in the impeachment complaint against Sereno, said Sereno spokesperson Atty. Josalee Deinla.

"Irrelevant and immaterial po iyung issue ng psychiatric exam results na ipinagawa ng JBC (Judicial and Bar Council) noong siya ay nag-a-apply pa lang [bilang Chief Justice]," Deinla told DZMM. 

The test was a personality assessment and does not determine mental disorder, she said. 

Besides, no matter its results, the JBC had included Sereno in the short list of nominees for Chief Justice, which eventually led to her appointment as the country's top magistrate in 2012, noted Deinla. 
Umali, for his part, said the psych test results will help shed light on why Sereno supposedly bypassed her other Supreme Court justices - an allegation raised in the impeachment complaint against her. 

"Parang mayroong pumapasok sa kaniyang kaisipan na nakakaapekto ngayon sa kaniyang desisyon," he told DZMM. 

He said he will ask the psychiatrists who examined Sereno to join the impeachment hearings next week. 

The resumption of the proceedings on Wednesday, he said, will tackle a separate allegation on Sereno's luxurious lifestyle. 

DZMM, 17 January 2018