- House Speaker considering impeachment raps against Chief Justice
- He said Sereno allegedly ordered CA justices to defy House’s show-cause order
- House panel also ready to have CA justices cited in contempt, arrested
MANILA, Philippines – In what could further inflame tensions between the two co-equal branches of government, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said he is considering the filing of impeachment charges against Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno.
Alvarez, who was in Maasin City in Southern Leyte to induct new members of the PDP-Laban over the weekend, said they have reports that Sereno has allegedly ordered three of the Court of Appeals (CA) justices to snub the show-cause order issued against them by the House of Representatives.
“If we found it to be true then we will discuss it in Congress for a possible impeachment case,” he told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
The House issued the show-cause order after the three appellate justices–Associate Justices Stephen Cruz, Edwin Sorongon, and Nina Antonio-Valenzuela— issued their own order against Alvarez explaining why he shouldn’t be cited in contempt for defying a habeas corpus petition it granted in favor of six Ilocos Norte officials currently detained in Congress.
The six have been detained since May after they were cited in contempt for their behavior during the House hearings on their provincial government’s alleged misuse of tobacco funds.
For his part, Surigao Rep. Johnny Pimentel — chair of the House committee on good government and public accountability — said they were ready to cite the CA justices in contempt and have them arrested if need be.
“After the show-cause order, they will have to explain why they should not be cited in contempt. If we are not satisfied with their answer, then we will cite them for contempt and warrant of arrest will be issued for them,” he said. “That is the flow, that is the rule”.