SC magistrate De Castro appears at Sereno impeach hearing


Posted at Nov 29 2017 09:34 AM | Updated as of Nov 29 2017 11:25 AM

MANILA - Associate Justice Teresita De Castro on Wednesday attended the hearing on finding of probable cause in the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

De Castro, who penned a temporary restraining order that Sereno allegedly tampered with, attended the hearing, alongside Court Administrator Midas Marquez.

"I welcome this opportunity because this will be the right time for me to explain to everyone the process that we follow in deciding cases in the Supreme Court," De Castro told lawmakers in her opening remarks.

"I also believe this is the proper venue where I can correct the misinformation that has been spread many times during this period," she added.

House Justice Committee Chairman Reynaldo Umali said their panel will allot the entire session day to De Castro's testimony since she is one of the central figures in the allegations against the top magistrate.

The panel seeks to establish probable cause in the 27 points mentioned in the complaint against Sereno, including allegedly bypassing her colleagues in the issuance of administrative orders.

The Supreme Court has authorized De Castro to testify on 3 matters only: the issuance of the TRO in the seniors' citizens cases and exchange of communication with Sereno; the merits of the decision on the clustering case involving the Judicial and Bar Council; and the merits of her separate concurring opinion in the case involving then Solicitor General and now Associate Justice Francis Jardaleza.

De Castro, Associate Justice Noel Tijam, and retired justice Arturo Brion have said they will attend the impeachment hearings once they get clearance from the SC en banc, according to Umali.