A SPOKESPERSON for Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno said Monday the impeachment proceedings against her in the House would be one-sided if her lawyers are not allowed to cross-examine witnesses against her in hearings of the committee on justice.
“What will happen is that the determination of probable cause will become one-sided, and in our view, neither the public nor the members of the committee will be able to get the full picture,” lawyer Josa Deinla, a spokesperson for the chief justice, said in Filipino in an interview with radio dzBB.
Sereno had asked the House justice committee to ensure her right to counsel, who will cross-examine witnesses during the impeachment proceedings.
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez had earlier ruled out the request, saying Sereno should appear personally to cross-examine the witnesses.
But Deinla said Sereno has the right to cross-examine the witnesses against her through her lawyers as part of “due process of law” enshrined in the Constitution.
Deinla said Sereno’s legal team will insist on their motion when the committee resumes hearings on the impeachment complaint on Nov. 20.
Deinla said so far, only Alvarez has made his position known, and they would like to know the stand of each committee member.
Sereno’s camp, in a statement, urged the public to remain vigilant against any attempt to deprive her of her constitutional right to due process in the impeachment proceedings in the House.
She said that vicious attempts to deprive the chief justice or any ordinary citizen of their rights should not escape public scrutiny.