Philippine Congress body backs bid to impeach chief justice

A Philippine House committee has voted overwhelmingly to proceed with a case to impeach the Supreme Court chief justice, who has vowed to fight the ouster move.

The justice committee voted 38-2 Thursday to rule there was "probable cause" to impeach Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno based on 27 allegations made by a lawyer, including her alleged failure to file her annual statements of assets and liabilities.

The entire 292-member House of Representatives is to vote whether to impeach Sereno in a few months. The House is dominated by allies of President Rodrigo Duterte, who has called for her removal.

Sereno has taken leave from the court and has denied any wrongdoing. She urged Filipinos to stand up to authoritarianism, in an indirect criticism of Duterte.