Duterte can't participate in Sereno impeachment – lawyer
MANILA, Philippines – The Constitution bars the participation of President Rodrigo Duterte in the impeachment proceedings against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, her spokesperson said on Saturday, October 7.
Lawyer Josa Deinla made the statement after the lawyer Larry Gadon, the complainant, said he wants the President to serve as a special prosecutor in the impeachment proceedings.
On Thursday, October 5, the House justice committee declared that the impeachment complaint against Sereno has "sufficient grounds."
Deinla said Gadon's plan "violates the constitutional role of the House of Representatives to act as sole prosecutors in impeachment cases." (READ: How Sereno answered her impeachment complaint)
"Moreover, it makes a farce of the impeachment process. The Constitution does not allow the President to participate in the impeachment proceedings where he is not a party, and especially since the respondent is the head of a co-equal branch of government," she said.
Deinla said Gadon's plan "like his impeachment complaint...is legally infirm"
"It betrays his fundamental ignorance of the law," Deinla added.
Last Saturday, September 30, Duterte himself challenged Sereno and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales to resign with him. The challenge came just as the Ombudsman has begun its fact-finding investigation into Duterte's wealth.
Sereno's camp, however, rejected Duterte's challenge on Monday, October 2, saying she will not resign "because she has done nothing illegal, unlawful, and impeachable." – Rappler.com