By: Xave Gregorio
Supreme Court Associate Justice Teresita de Castro denied that she is testifying before the House Committee on Justice to avenge herself for not being appointed as Chief Justice in 2012.
Siquijor Rep. Ramon Rocamora brought up at the impeachment hearing on Wednesday (November 29) that both De Castro and Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno were shortlisted by the Judicial and Bar Council to replace impeached Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Rocamora then asked how De Castro felt with Sereno, the most junior in the High Court at the time, getting appointed as chief justice.
“Your honor, matagal na po akong justice. Dalawampung taon na po. Wala pong karapatan ang isang justice kung affected ng emotions. Yan po ang isang bagay na hindi ko pinapairal sakin,” De Castro passionately replied.
“Kung ganito ako na puro emotions at feelings, dapat unalis na ako ng korte,” she said.
She also dared lawmakers to see if what she is saying has actual basis, and junk her testimony if the justice committee finds that she is only motivated by emotions.
“I cannot stand idly by when the legal power of the Supreme Court is being undermined,” De Castro said.
“I should speak up. What kind of justice am I if I just accept what is not in the constitution and the law?”
De Castro testified before the House Committee on Justice on the creation of Regional Court Administrative Office 7, the allegedly tampered Senior Citizen’s Party-list TRO, the manipulation of the JBC, Sereno’s issuance of an SC administrative order and other matters she may have personal knowledge of.
Umali: De Castro ‘most explosive witness’ in Sereno impeachment