House panel to submit report on Sereno impeachment by March 21

MANILA The House of Representatives' justice committee is set to submit its report on the impeachment complaint against Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to the plenary by March 21, its committee chairman said on Monday.

In an interview, Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali said his panel would vote on the committee report along with the articles of impeachment next week. It will then be forwarded to the House plenary before the congressional break on March 21.

"We will submit it to the plenary, to the rules committee in particular, by the week of March 21," Umali said, noting that it complies with the constitutional requirement of submitting the report and resolution within the prescribed 60 session days or before May 16.

The House justice committee is scheduled to vote upon the determination of probable cause on Thursday.

Umali said each of the 27 allegations of lawyer Larry Gadon in his impeachment complaint against Sereno would be voted upon one by one.

"We will vote upon it Thursday and then whatever will be the result of this voting on probable cause yun yung mapapasok ngayon sa articles of impeachment na bubuuin din namin (that will be included in the articles of impeachment that we will craft) together with the report that we will vote upon in the impeachment committee again next week," he said.

Umali said new charges against the top magistrate that were unraveled during the course of the impeachment proceedings could be incorporated.

During the impeachment hearings, it was discovered that Sereno failed to submit her statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) for more than 15 years when she was a professor at the University of the Philippines.

Sereno only filed SALNs for the years 1998, 2002, and 2006 during her tenure as law professor at the UP College of Law from 1986 up to 2006.

Under the rules on impeachment, a vote of one-third, or at least 98 lawmakers, of the total number of House members is needed to send the impeachment complaint to the Senate.

Source: Philippine News Agency