MANILA, Philippines – A second impeachment complaint was filed against Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno at the House of Representatives on Monday, September 4, for alleged culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust.
The complaint was filed by Dante Jimenez of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) and lawyer Eligio Mallari of the Vanguard of the Philippine Constitution, Inc.
It was endorsed by 16 House members.
The House Secretary General, minutes after the filing of the second impeachment complaint against Sereno, transmitted it to the Office of the Speaker.
The complaint has been poised for weeks. However, it was only on Monday when it was able to get endorsers.
A complaint is deemed filed only after it is endorsed by at least one member of the House. The complainants also have to take their oath before the House Secretary General.
On Wednesday last week, the first impeachment complaint against Sereno was filed by lawyer Lorenzo Gadon, it was endorsed by 25 congressmen. The complaint has been referred by the House Secretary General to the Office of the Speaker.
“I believe it would prosper. Many intend to sign, I was just the first to sign,” Lanao del Sur Representative Mauyag Papandayan Jr., one of the endorsers, said.
Aside from Papandayan, the other House members who endorsed the complaint were Reps. Eric Pineda (1-Pacman); Virgilio Lacson (Manila Teachers); Arnolfo Teves Jr. ( Negros Oriental); Ben Evardone (Eastern Samar); Benhur Lopez Jr. (Yacap); Jerry Trenas (Iloilo); Rogelio Espina (Biliran); Arthur Defensor Jr. (Iloilo); Joseph Stephen Paduano (Abang Lingkod); Benhur Salimbangon (Cebu); Fredenil Castro (Capiz); Ferjenel Biron (Iloilo); Raul Tupas (Iloilo); Carlito Marquez (Aklan); and, Sharon Garin (Aambis-OWA).
Lawyer Manuelito Luna, legal counsel of VACC, said Sereno has been “acting like she is the Court … ignoring the en banc” in a number of decisions.
“The gravest violation was her creation of the Regional Court Administration Office (RCAO), that’s a violation of the Constitution,” Luna said.
Sereno released a resolution in November 2012 reopening the RCAO in Central Visayas, for which her attention was called out by Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo-De Castro in a memorandum saying the move did not reflect the deliberation of the justices.
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