Psych test not a ground for impeachment: Sereno lawyer

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 28 2018 12:05 PM | Updated as of Feb 28 2018 12:44 PM

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Psychological incapacity is not a ground for impeachment, a lawyer of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno said a day after a psychiatrist said the top magistrate is allegedly unfit for her post.

"Psychological incapacity is not a ground for impeachment. You cannot remove an impeachable official from office because of that," Atty. Jojo Lacanilao, Sereno's spokesperson, said in a press conference.

"Hindi naman 'yan (psychological exam) passed, failed. 'Yun ay tumutulong lang para sa [Judicial and Bar Council] to see the psychological profile, to help them to decide," he said.

Clinical psychologist Dr. Geraldine Tria earlier cited the findings of 2 other psychiatrists who said Sereno exhibited 5 symptoms of an emotional and dramatic type of personality including a "grandiosity, sense of unlimited power, sense of entitlement, exploitative and lack of empathy."

Tria did not personally examine Sereno but did a follow-up psychological evaluation. She said Sereno was unfit for the position of chief justice because her psychological state greatly affects her decision-making.

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Former Supreme Court clerk of court Atty. Enriqueta Vidal earlier told the House Justice Committee that Sereno was among those who got the second to the lowest rating in a 5-point psych test.

Lacanilao said Sereno's lawyers will challenge the Chief Justice's psychiatric report once formal impeachment proceedings begin at the Senate.

"Sa Senado icha-challenge namin 'yun. Tingnan natin kung 'yung kaniyang (psychiatrist's) testimony stands. Tingnan natin ang credibility niya as a witness," he said.