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House taking sweet time in impeaching Sereno

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Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali said House members have not yet reached a consensus on what should be included in the articles of impeachment.

The committee originally scheduled the voting on the report along with the impeachment articles on Wednesday.

“Hindi namin natapos yung articles of impeachment kasi hindi kami magkasundo kung ilan yung isasama and, ang gusto ng iba, comprehensive talaga to show this is really a very strong case,” Umali said.

“The whole idea is to present it as comprehensive as we could, then we’ll just cross the bridge when we get there. Probably remove some allegations that may not be that strong,” he added.

Umali said the voting could be held on Monday or Tuesday next week.

“When we schedule that hearing either on Monday or Tuesday, we’re ready to present the articles of impeachment,” he said.

The House justice panel chair said among the allegations that would likely be included in the impeachment articles are Sereno’s failure to completely disclose her statement of assets, liabilities and net worth; tax evasion for failing to pay about P2 million in taxable income from the legal fees she received as government counsel in the PIATCO case; and acts of grandiosity, such as the purchase of a luxury vehicle, as well as staying in opulent hotels.

“When you look at it at its totality, doon lumalabas yung persona niya eh. Doon lumalabas yung psychiatric or psychological disorder, nandun eh (that’s where her persona is revealed. It reveals that there is psychiatric or psychological disorder, it’s there),” Umali said.

The impeachment complaint filed by lawyer Larry Gadon contains four grounds — corruption, culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of public trust, and other high crimes. The complaint also alleged 27 acts constituting the offenses charged against the Chief Justice. (PNA)