House panel to al­low Sereno to cross ex­am­ine

Tempo - - Editorial - R. Rosario) (Ben

The Com­mit­tee on Jus­tice of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives will al­low Chief Jus­tice Maria Lour­des P.A. Sereno to cross ex­am­ine wit­nesses pre­sented in the im­peach­ment case against her.

How­ever, Min­doro Ori­en­tal Rep. Rey­naldo Umali, chair­man of the House Com­mit­tee on Jus­tice, said Sereno will not be per­mit­ted to con­duct the cross ex­am­i­na­tion but on a lim­ited run.

Umali aired this po­si­tion af­ter Sereno, through her lawyers, called on the com­mit­tee to grant her the right to con­front and cros­sex­am­ine wit­nesses, say­ing that this is al­lowed un­der Sec­tion 6 of the House Rules on Im­peach­ment.

Al­bay Rep. Ed­cel Lag­man, a for­mer chair­man of the panel, backed Sereno’s po­si­tion as be­ing “in or­der and con­sis­tent with the Con­sti­tu­tion on the rights of the ac­cused.”

“While an im­peach­ment pro­ceed­ing is a po­lit­i­cal process, it is im­bued with a ju­di­cial na­ture akin to a crim­i­nal pros­e­cu­tion,” Lag­man noted.

On the other hand, lawyer Larry Gadon, lone com­plainant in the im­peach­ment case, said a re­spon­dent “is al­ways given the op­por­tu­nity to ex­am­ine wit­nesses.”

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