By Ben R. Rosario
For allegedly trying to demean the on-going impeachment proceedings, two lawyers of Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno and an official of the Commission on Human Rights were ordered to explain in 72 hours why they should not be cited in contempt by the Committee on Justice of the House of Representatives.
Emerging from an executive meeting, the committee swiftly disposed of two motions proposing to give lawyers Joshua Santiago and Aldwin Salumbides, together with CHR Commissioner Roberto Cadiz, 72 hours to explain their side on the matter.
With nobody among the justice panel objecting, Mindoro Oriental Rep. Reynaldo Umali, justice panel chairman, issued the show cause order to the lawyers as with Cadiz.
Santiago and Salumbides were allegedly quoted criticizing in a newspaper the on-going impeachment proceedings as a “dog and pony” show.
Cadiz, on the other hand supposedly assailed the impeachment proceedings as having been following the “law of the jungle.”
“I move that both lawyers (Santiago and Salumbides) to show cause why they should not be cited for contempt as statements they issued cast aspersions on the integrity of the members of the justice committee and the committee itself,” said Deputy Speaker Gwendolyn Garcia.
It was SAGIP Patylist Rep. Rodante Marcoleta who sought an amendment to Garcia’s motion by including Cadiz among those who should explain alleged attacks against the panel.
Santiago and Salumbides have identified themselves as members of the Sereno legal team.
Salumbides also allegedly claimed the impeachment complaint filed by lawyer Lorenzo Gadon is “very shallow,” pointing out that there is no reason for the House panel to prolong the proceedings.
Garcia said Salumbides also insisted that the house panel’s moves were “logically incoherent and legally questionable.”
Santiago allegedly hinted bias against the house panel members as he allegedly stated the lawmakers’ “minds are already made up.”