Sereno camp unfazed by Enrile as prosecutor in impeachment trial

MANILA The camp of Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno said they are not bothered by the possibility of former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile joining the House's prosecution panel for the looming impeachment trial against the top magistrate.

Sought for comment, Sereno's spokesperson lawyer Josa Deinla said while Enrile is a formidable lawyer, nothing is more "formidable than the truth".

While we cannot deny the expertise of JPE (Enrile), we feel that he and the rest of his team will have to contend with the disadvantage of prosecuting an inherently weak case, Deinla said.

Deinla said Sereno's legal team is ready to defend her and disprove the allegations in the impeachment complaint filed by lawyer Larry Gadon.

House justice committee chairman Reynaldo Umali earlier revealed that Enrile volunteered to join the prosecution panel in Sereno's impeachment trial.

To recall, Enrile was the presiding judge during the impeachment trial of the late Chief Justice Renato Corona in 2012.

On Thursday, the House of Representatives' justice committee, voting 38-2, found probable cause to impeach Sereno.

Gadon's impeachment complaint contains four grounds, including corruption, culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of public trust and other high crimes. The complaint also alleged 27 acts constituting the offenses charged against the Chief Justice.

House Majority Leader Rodolfo Farinas said the House may have to wait for the Supreme Court's decision on the quo warranto petition filed against Sereno before the plenary voting on her impeachment.

FariAas said the soonest possible time the House plenary could put the impeachment complaint against Sereno to a vote is by May 14.

The committee report along with the articles of impeachment is set to be submitted on March 14. (with reports from Filane Mikee Cervantes/PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency