House panel summons SC incumbent, retired clerks of court for 2012 notes on Sereno creation of RCAO

November 29, 2017 - 12:01 PM
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MANILA – Former Supreme Court Clerk of Court Enriqueta Vidal was invited to testify at the House Justice committee hearings on the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to shed light on the documents arising from the en banc’s Nov. 27, 2012 deliberations on the revival of the regional office of the court administrator in Central Visayas.

Vidal’s name cropped up while lawmakers were questioning Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo de Castro on the letter-protest she sent Sereno over the latter’s alleged misrepresentation of the en banc’s intent during the November 2012 session.

De Castro had testified that while the en banc only decided to revisit the concept of decentralizing the judicial offices, Sereno had issued an administrative order already creating a Judiciary Decentralized Office in Region 7, headed by Judge Geraldine Faith Econg.

House Justice Committee chair Rep. Reynaldo Umali directed the issuance of the summons to Vidal. However, he later amended his directive after De Castro said that Vidal, being retired, “may not be able to produce the minutes.” Instead, she suggested, maybe the incumbent clerk of court could produce the document.

In response, Umali amended an earlier invitation to the current clerk of court, Atty. Felipe B. Anama, to include a subpoena duces tecum for the latter to produce the “Notes and/or Minutes of the Chief Justice” with respect to Nov. 27, 2012 deliberations of the en banc.