Palace welcomes House panel verdict on Sereno impeachment

MANILA Malacanang on Thursday lauded the House Committee on Justice's findings that there was probable cause to impeach Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the House panel's verdict proves that the processes provided in the Constitution have been working well.

This is another evidence that the processes provided in our Constitution particularly the impeachment process which holds our high officials liable is working, Roque said in a Palace briefing.

So we are happy to see that our institution is working again, he added.

Voting 38-2, the House Committee on Justice reportedly found probable cause to impeach Sereno over alleged culpable violation of the Constitution, corruption, betrayal of public trust and other high crimes.

The House panel made the decision after five months of weekly hearings on complaint filed by lawyer Lorenzo Gadon against Sereno.

Roque clarified though that the panel's decision has to be approved first at the plenary before it will be submitted to the Senate sitting as impeachment court.

What has been approved today was at the committee level. As we have seen on what happened to chairman Bautista, the decision of the committee could be reversed once it reaches the plenary, Roque explained.

So let's wait the vote in the plenary because it would serve as the key whether the impeachment will move forward as impeachment case in the Senate, he added.

Roque was referring to former Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Andres Bautista who stepped down on Oct. 11 last year, the same day the House of Representatives voted, 137-75-2, to impeach him.

The impeachment complaint against Bautista has been declared moot and academic after President Rodrigo Duterte accepted his resignation.

Source: Philippine News Agency