Senators want Justice Sereno to testify, but won’t summon her

Rappler.com
Senators maintain that they can not compel Sereno to testify because the Supreme Court and the Senate are co-equal government branches

MANILA, Philippines – The impeachment court has already ruled that it will not summon members of the Supreme Court to testify at impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona. 

Individual senators, including Presiding Officer Juan Ponce Enrile, told reporters on Tuesday, February 28, however,  that they personally want Associate Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno to testify.

Enrile said he believes Sereno can shed more light on matters she revealed in her November 18, 2012 dissenting opinion. He stressed however, that the Senate can not compel Sereno to testify because the Supreme Court and the Senate are co-equal government branches.

In her dissenting opinion, Sereno wrote that the temporary restraining order imposed by the Supreme Court on the government’s travel ban on former President Gloria Arroyo was not yet final and executory. Court Administrator Midas Marquez, however, made it appear it was already effective.

Another senator-judge, Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, supports Enrile’s decision. “If she is willing to testify, why compel her to come?” 

Previously, when the prosecution presented Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to testify against Corona,  she quoted heavily from Sereno’s dissenting opinion. 

Enrile, however, said De Lima’s testimony is nothing but hearsay. “Yong sinasabi doon sa dissenting opinion na sinabi ng ibang mahistrado, hearsay ‘yon as far as the witness who took oath to testify [is concerned].” 

Another Senator judge, Jinggoy Estrada, conceded that Sereno’s testimony “just might strengthen the cause of the prosecution.” – Rappler.com

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