House wants more justices, psychiatrist to testify in Sereno impeachment

Bea Cupin
House wants more justices, psychiatrist to testify in Sereno impeachment
Associate Justices Mariano del Castillo and Andres Reyes, as well as a psychiatrist who previously evaluated Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, are among those who will be invited

MANILA, Philippines – The House committee on justice, which is hearing an impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, will be inviting even more associate justices of the Supreme Court (SC), as well as the psychiatrist who allegedly gave Sereno “failing marks.”

Citing the complaint of lawyer Larry Gadon, as well as various news reports, committee chairman Reynaldo Umali said they would be inviting the psychiatrist who was allegedly fired or whose contract was not renewed after Sereno was appointed chief justice in 2012.

It was this psychiatrist who evaluated Sereno as part of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) process of screening applicants for posts to the judiciary.

According to these reports, Sereno was given a rating of 4, on a scale of 1 to 5 where 5 was the lowest. In a press release, the House noted that two psychiatrists said Sereno projected a “happy mood” while also showing “depressive markers.” (READ: Impeachment committee question: Is Sereno still fit to hold office?)

Umali said the House committee will also be inviting Associate Justices Mariano del Castillo and Andres Reyes, retired associate justice Adolfo Azcuna, and Court of Appeals Associate Justice Remedios Salazar-Fernando, among others.

The committee has been hearing Gadon’s complaint since last year.

The lawyer wants Sereno out of office because she allegedly disregarded the authority of the SC en banc by making decisions by herself and supposedly misusing public funds, among other allegations. (READ: How Sereno answered her impeachment complaint)

During the hearing on Monday, January 15, several SC associate justices testified on the supposed “inordinate delay” in the rewarding of benefits to retired members of the judiciary, due in part to a reorganization which Sereno approved. (READ: Sereno impeachment: RCAO, JDO, and Midas Marquez) – Rappler.com

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.