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Umali on Sereno quo warranto case: ‘Sa tantsa ko, ang botohan ay nasa 11-3’

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Oriental Mindoro second-district Rep. Rey Umali has adjusted his “fearless forecast” about the looming decision of the Supreme Court in the quo warranto petition against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, today, Friday.

He now believes the high tribunal will vote 11-3 in favor of the petition by Solicitor General Jose Calida seeking to remove Sereno for having failed to submit all the requirements for Chief Justice to the Judicial and Bar Council, including her statement of assets, liabilities and net worth during her tenure as a UP law professor.

“Sa tantsa ko, ang botohan ay nasa 11-3,” the chairman of the House committee on justice told DZMM in an interview on Thursday.

A day earlier, Umali told ANC that “basing it from an earlier action taken by the Supreme Court where the court en banc voted 13-0 on her leave of absence, I think the numbers would not differ so much. If it differs there will only be one or 2 siding chief justice.”

Last March, Umali’s panel found basis to impeach Sereno. But the House leadership, arguing there was not enough time, did not put the articles of impeachment to a vote.

House leaders also said the impeachment would be mooted should the Supreme Court decide on its own to oust Sereno.

In the DZMM interview, Umali said he believed the justices would vote according to how they voted in their earlier decision to force Sereno to take a leave of absence.

Sereno has returned to work at the Supreme Court and has expressed her intention to fight tooth and nail to stay in the high court.

Umali, however, said the House remains ready to take a vote on the impeachment articles against Sereno, should, by some fluke, the court decide not to oust her after all.

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