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Lagman wants to cross-examine De Castro

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Albay first-district Rep. Edcel Lagman has appealed to the chairman of the House of Representatives committee on justice to make a special exception for him by allowing him to interrogate Supreme Court Associate Justice Teresita de Castro during the impeachment hearing of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

De Castro has been invited by the committee chaired by Oriental Mindoro second-district Rep. Rey Umali to talk about her complaints against Sereno, which had been cited by lawyer Larry Gadon in his impeachment complaint.

“I write to earnestly request Your Honor to extend your liberality in allowing me to propound clarificatory or cross-examination questions to Supreme Court Associate Justice Teresita L. de Castro in the event she appears as a witness in the impeachment proceedings,” Lagman said.

He added, “Following the doctrine that every rule has an exception, I am making this urgent request as an exception to the ruling of the Chair and the Committee on Justice that non-members of the committee can attend but not participate in the proceedings.”

Last Wednesday, the justice committee decided, by a vote of 30-3, not to allow nonmembers to speak in the impeachment hearings after Majority Leader Rudy Fariñas pointed out that they might not be able to finish their “constitutional duty” if all 293 members are allowed to talk.

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