House hits SC clerk of court for 'evasive answers' during impeachment hearing

Kat Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 06 2017 04:25 PM

Supreme Court Clerk Atty. Felipa Anama attends the impeachment hearing of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno at the House of Representatives on December 6, 2017. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

Lawmakers on Wednesday scolded Supreme Court clerk of court Felipa Anama for supposedly giving "evasive answers" and "unduly delaying" impeachment proceedings against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

"'Wag tayo maging pilosopo dito... You are not being very cooperative to this committee," House Justice Committee chair Reynaldo Umali told Anama as she insisted on the court's rule on confidentiality even after the Supreme Court allowed its personnel - including justices - to participate in impeachment proceedings.

Anama appeared before the House Justice Committee as it probes allegations that Sereno caused the delay in the transfer of Maute cases from Mindanao to Metro Manila courts.

Lawmakers were irked as proceedings dragged on for almost 2 hours as Anama refused to say if Sereno was in charge of the Maute transfer petition. Anama only yielded after Umali said that Sereno said in her verified complaint that she handled the case.

Sagip Party-list Representative Rodante Marcoleta said Anama's supposed loyalty to the chief justice may be due to "benefits" extended by Sereno to the clerk of court.

"Your term [was] extended under the chief justice, right? Therefore, there has to be a tendency on your part to be loyal to the chief justice," Marcoleta said.

Anama denied being loyal to Sereno and said that she was just doing her job.

"I've been working for the government for 44 years. I'm loyal to the institution," she said.

Umali said the House Justice Committee may have to rely on the testimonies of other justices on Monday for more substantial answers.