By Betheena Kae Unite
Amid the impeachment case against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P.A. Sereno, Vice President Leni Robredo believes that the integrity of the court will suffer more than anything else.
“Personally, it is saddening that the integrity of the court will suffer here. More than anyone or anything else, the integrity of the judicial department, in my opinion, was shaken,” Robredo said in mix Filipino and English during the Babaenihan National Level Talk in Iloilo today.
The vice president believes that the judicial institution of the country should be “very strong” that it should not be tainted with politics or intrigues.
The House committee on justice yesterday found probable cause to impeach Sereno. The Justice committee voted 38-2 in favor of the declaration, making the Senate impeachment trial of the Chief Justice a step closer.
Robredo, however, is hopeful that the Senate, in case the impeachment trial is transmitted to it,
will give the Chief Justice a chance to defend herself.
“When cases concerning the Supreme Court is shown in public, the institution itself will be mostly affected, so I really hope that the judicial department can overcome this, that this will be resolve as soon as possible, and let the normal proceedings take place,” Robredo said.
“Let us trust the Senate, which will serve as the impeachment court. I hope the Senate will let the Chief Justice, in support with Chief Justice, defend herself,” Robredo added.
Robredo also believes that the Senate has the last say if the impeachment case needs more evidence to push through.
After the House committee found probable cause to impeach Sereno, the committee report will have to be submitted to the plenary for voting. A one-third vote of the House is needed before the case is transmitted to the Senate for trial.
“Ang makapagsasabi kung kailangan pa ng mas maraming ebidensiya i hindi iyong Senado, kasi siya iyong impeachment court. Pero maganda kasing — kasi hindi nagkaroon ng pagkakataon si Chief Justice na i-represent siya ng abugado sa House of Representatives, pero sa Senado mayroon siyang ganoong karapatan (The Senate being the impeachment court can say if more evidence is needed or not. But it is better if the Chief Justice will be given the chance to defend herself, she has a right for that in the Senate),” Robredo said.