Sereno camp slams House panel decision

Elias Hubbard
September 13, 2017

The House committee on justice on Wednesday found the impeachment complaint filed by lawyer Larry Gadon against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno as sufficient both in form and substance. The complaint was endorsed by sixteen lawmakers on September 4.

Reps. Edcel Lagman, Arlene Bag-ao, Tom Villarin and Carlos Zarate voted against the tabled motion.

The complaint won't immediately reach the House plenary for voting, as Sereno has 10 days to answer the impeachment complaint.

Umali, however, stressed that some of the allegations may be substantiated by authentic documents.

"Lorenzo Gadon certified true copies of the following document...it list down 20 documents including the list of foreign travel all lawyers of the office of the Chief Justice", Fariñas said.

"All government officials and employees, regardless of rank and title, are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that befits their status as public servants", Bravo said.

After the House Committee on Justice chose to recognize the Gadon impeachment complaint, the Chief Justice denied all allegations hurled against her, in a statement released by her spokesperson.

"The Office of the Clerk of Court en Banc is directed to furnish to Atty". If we stretch that to culpable violation of the Constitution, everyone can be impeached.

"Malinaw dito na talagang we overstretch 'yung grounds na nakasaad sa ating Saligang Batas para managot ang ating impeachable officials", Zarate said.

In dismissing the first impeachment charge against Duterte in May, the justice committee then grilled Alejano on the content of his case and rejected his explanation that although he had no personal knowledge as a witness he had personal knowledge as a complainant based on official records, affidavits and the president's public pronouncements.

This prompted a number of pro-impeachment congressmen to change their minds and object as well to the VACC/Vanguard complaint.

A vote of at least one-thirds of all House members is needed to transmit the complaint to the Senate for a full trial.

Gadon said the issue of SALN declaration is the strongest case presented against the chief justice.

"If we could still rectify this form because we admit it is our first time to file against complaint against the Chief Justice", said Jimenez.

"We ask everyone to request their Congressional representatives to be critical of the impeachment complaint and the chilling effect it has on conscientious objectors, dissenters and well-meaning citizens who speak out against the travesty of law, justice and our rights to be free from harm and live in peace", the groups said.

Sereno's camp on Wednesday asserted that the impeachment complaint found sufficient in form and substance against her lacked evidence and seemed aimed at maximizing "the political spectacle".

"The complaint against her seems created to maximize the political spectacle, with the goal of eroding her credibility through innuendo and malicious allegations", Cruz stressed. She has been among the foremost proponents of establishing a culture of modesty and respect for public funds in the Supreme Court.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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