- House justice committee okayed first impeachment complaint against SC chief justice
- It junked the second complaint for being insufficient in form though
- Sereno camp denied allegations in the complaint
MANILA, Philippines – The House Justice Committee has found sufficient in form and substance the impeachment complaint filed by Atty. Larry Gadon against Supreme Court Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno.
At least 30 members voted in favor of the complaint upon the motion of Coop-Natcco Rep. Anthony Bravo.
“Same as the charges against court personnel must be acted on by the Supreme Court, so the charges against the Chief Magistrate must be heard by the institution that can hold the Chief Justice accountable – the Congress,” the Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted him as saying.
Gadon, who says Sereno is liable for culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of public trust and other high crimes, has accused the chief justice of spending millions for a bulletproof car, hotel accommodations, manipulating administrative processes within the judiciary, and misdeclaring her Statement of Assets, Net Worth and Liabilities (SALN).
At the same time, the committee voted to junk the second impeachment complaint filed against the chief justice by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) and Vanguard of the Philippine Constitution, Inc. (VPCI).
The complaint was deemed insufficient in form because the verification used was the one for which complaints are endorsed by one-third of the House of Representatives.
Sereno’s spokesman Atty. Carlo Cruz meanwhile maintained the charges against her are false and unsubstantiated.
“For this reason, we respectfully submit that the complaint cannot be considered sufficient in form and substance. None of the allegations rises to an impeachable offense,” he said.
Cruz added that the justice chief will seek all legal remedies to clear her name.
“She will avail herself of appropriate legal remedies, with the hope that the mechanisms of our democratic system will afford her a fair, transparent and just opportunity to be heard,” he said.