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Umali cites ‘worsening divide’ among SC officials as justice panel OKs articles of impeachment vs Sereno

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“The situation in the judiciary is turning from bad to worst.”

So said Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali as the House justice committee voted in favor of the articles of impeachment against embattled Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno.

The House committee on justice, chaired by Rep. Umali, voted (33-1) today the articles of impeachment against Sereno.

Only Quezon City Rep. Kit Belmonte voted against the articles of impeachment. Belmonte belongs to the erstwhile ruling party, Liberal Party.

“The truths discovered during the impeachment hearings have shown us that there is a worsening divide among high officials and employees of the Supreme Court,” Umali said.

“Thus, the results of today’s vote to approve the Committee Report and Articles of Impeachment show that the House Committee on Justice is overwhelmingly supportive of the bid to impeach the Chief Justice,” he added.

Umali also said that out of 27 allegations submitted in the complaint of Atty. Larry Gadon, 24 were used in the Articles of Impeachment.

“Grounds of impeachment include culpable violation, betrayal of public trust, corruption, and other high crimes,” he added.

The articles of impeachment must be approved by at least one-third of the members of the House before it could be transmitted to the Senate for a full-blown trial.