Roque to De Lima: ‘Just watch Sereno impeach trial on TV’

MANILA — Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Tuesday advised Senator Leila de Lima to just watch the impeachment proceedings against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on television, rebuffing her plan to ask courts to allow her to participate in the hearing.

“Libreng mangarap. Manood na lang siya ng TV kung mayroon siyang TV sa kulungan (She is free to dream. She can watch the proceedings on TV if there is one in jail),” Roque said during a Palace briefing.

De Lima, currently detained over drug trafficking charges, earlier said she is poised to file a motion before the court to allow her to participate in the proceedings as sitting senator.

“Certainly, as a sitting Senator, I am mandated under the Constitution to take part in such proceedings of grave importance. My lawyers will, in due time, file the appropriate motion with the courts,” de Lima said in a statement.

Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said since de Lima is a senator, she will not be “disqualified” from attending the proceedings.

“Yes, because member siya ng (she is a member of the) Senate. Who knows, malay mo, you do not disqualify just because she is detained. Kasama siya. Malay mo pagdating sa halfway or sa ending, physically (nandito) na siya (She’s included. Maybe halfway during the trial or towards the end, she’ll be here physically),” he said on Wednesday.