THE chairman of the House committee on justice on Thursday confirmed having received a letter from senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio declining to testify in the impeachment proceedings against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali said the committee would respect Carpio’s decision.
“As far as I am concerned, my questions to Justice Carpio were already addressed. But I will still ask my colleagues if they still have questions for him,” Umali added.
Umali said Carpio declined to testify because he has no personal knowledge on the alleged irregularities attributed to Sereno.
Aside from Carpio, Umali said his panel has invited Associate Justices Samuel Martires, Lucas Bersamin, and Diosdado Peralta to the impeachment hearings.
It also extended invitations to Associate Justices Mariano del Castillo and Andres Reyes Jr. to testify against Sereno.
The panel will resume its hearings on Monday, Jan. 15.
Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Noel Tijam and Francis Jardeleza had already testified against Sereno on her failure to abide by internal procedures and consult the full court on various matters.
Similarly, retired SC Associate Justice Arturo Brion also appeared before the Umali panel.
Umali also said that his panel also invited Court of Appeals acting Presiding Justice Remedios Salazar-Fernando.