Sereno asserts right to cross-examine impeach witnesses

By , on September 29, 2017


FILE: Sereno, through her lawyers, cited House rules allowing both “examination” and “cross-examination” of witnesses during the determination of probable cause of the impeachment proceedings. (Photo by Center for Strategic and International Studies/Flickr)
FILE: Sereno, through her lawyers, cited House rules allowing both “examination” and “cross-examination” of witnesses during the determination of probable cause of the impeachment proceedings. (Photo by Center for Strategic and International Studies/Flickr)

MANILA — The lawyers of Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Thursday filed before the House justice committee a letter asserting her right to confront and cross-examine witnesses against her.

Sereno, through her lawyers, cited House rules allowing both “examination” and “cross-examination” of witnesses during the determination of probable cause of the impeachment proceedings.

“We humbly submit that under the House Rules, persons who would testify during the hearing would not be considered mere “resource persons” who would be questioned solely by committee members,” the letter read.

“Those persons would be full-fledged witnesses, who would be examined by a proponent, and cross-examined by an opponent,” it added.

Sereno also maintained her call to the House justice panel to dismiss the verified impeachment complaint filed by lawyer Larry Gadon against her.

In a separate statement, lawyer Carlo Cruz, Sereno’s spokesperson, said there are “alarming indications” that she will be denied the right to cross-examination.

Cruz called on Congress to “be fair” and “follow their own rules” as the impeachment proceedings unfold.

“If Congress remains aligned with the objective of pursuing the truth and upholding due process and fairness, then it is likewise in their interest to uphold the Chief Justice and her legal team’s right to cross-examination,” Cruz said.

“After all, cross-examination is a tool to ferret out the truth and to provide the Committee with a complete picture of the material facts, and not just the side of the complainant. It is the fair, legal, and right thing to do,” he added. (PNA)