MANILA - The lawyer seeking the removal of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno said Monday he would ask congressmen to issue a subpoena to compel her to appear in the impeachment hearing.
“Kapag hindi sya nag-appear, I will also request na ipaaresto sya,” lawyer Lorenzo Gadon told a forum in Quezon City.
(If she doesn't appear, I will also request that she be arrested.)
One of Sereno’s spokespersons, lawyer Josa Deinla, described the threat as “nothing but another one of Gadon’s psywar tactics.”
Gadon said five more sitting Supreme Court justices were set to appear in the House justice committee hearing, including Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, and Associate Justices Samuel Martires, Mariano Del Castillo, Diosdado Peralta, and Andres Reyes Jr.
Carpio earlier wrote the committee asking about specific issues that would be raised should be attend the impeachment hearing.
Three sitting associate justices — Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Francis Jardeleza, and Noel Tijam — and retired associate justice Arturo Brion earlier testified against Sereno at the House.
“I am very happy with this development,” Gadon said citing the total of 9 justices appearing in the impeachment hearing.
“They can now hold their en banc session there,” he added in jest.
Sereno has refused to attend the hearings, sending her lawyers instead to cross examine witnesses against her.
But the committee said she should do the cross examination herself, not through her counsels.
“Anong dahilan para di sya magpunta? Natatakot ba syang mahalata na wala syang alam sa mga procedures kasi di sya naging litigation lawyer? Eh ang kakaharapin lang naman nya ako lang?” Gadon said.
(What's her reason for not attending? Is she afraid that her lack of knowledge in procedures and litigation as a lawyer will show? She just needs to face me.)