Tuesday 12 December, 2017
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Bring it on! FEU Law dean Mel Sta. Maria: Abogados would volunteer for Sereno if Duterte becomes special prosecutor

Far Eastern University Institute of Law dean Mel Sta. Maria believes several abogados would scramble for the chance to defend Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno in her impeachment case if President Rodrigo Duterte agrees to become a special prosecutor.

Sta. Maria said abogados would want to defend Sereno in an impeachment trial if Duterte will prosecute him so they could have a chance to size him up in court.

“I am sure that, if this comes to pass, a number of lawyers, including the retired ones, would be lining up to volunteer as counsel for the clear underdog, Chief Justice Sereno. They would be more than willing and challenged to face the former fiscal face-to-face and see what he truly has as a litigator,” he said in a Facebook post.

“So, they might already be wishing and saying ‘bring it on’, let him be the Special Prosecutor. In that case, the public will know if he is really good or just a dud,” Sta. Maria said.

Larry Gadon, the complainant in Sereno’s impeachment case, suggested that Duterte become a special prosecutor should the proceedings reach the Senate.

He said there is no law barring the President, who had served as a prosecutor before being elected mayor of Davao City, from taking part in the impeachment trial.

Gadon said Duterte will be able to grill the witnesses in the impeachment trial if he is allowed to join the prosecution panel.

Malacanang, however, has shot down Gadon’s idea, with Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo saying the Constitution prohibits Duterte from holding any other office outside of the presidency.

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