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Alvarez: Sereno has ‘obligation’ to show up at House impeach hearing

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Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno had the obligation to attend the impeachment hearing at the House of Representatives.

Asked in a CNN Philippines interview if it’s Sereno’s right not to show up, Alvarez said, “Kagaya halimbawa nga noong sinabi ni Justice Tijam… you have that obligation, because when you took your oath of office, sabi mo, you swore to defend and protect the Constitution and the laws of the Republic of the Philippines.”

“And this is the… a mandate of the Constitution for you to attend doon sa committee hearings,” he said.

Alvarez was referring to Associate Justice Noel Tijam, who was quoted in a Manila Times article as saying that, “If Chief Justice Sereno continues to ignore and continues to refuse to participate in the impeachment process, ergo, she is clearly liable for culpable violation of the Constitution.”

Earlier, House leaders said Sereno has the right not to show up in the proceedings as the main respondent.