MANILA – Anticrime crusader Dante Jimenez teamed up Wednesday with the Vanguards for the Philippine Constitution Inc. in submitting to the House of Representatives a complaint against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. The same is not yet being considered as a “filed” impeachment complaint, however, as it has not been endorsed by any member of Congress.
Listed as complainants are Dante Jimenez, founding chairman of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) and Atty. Eligio Mallari of the VPCI.
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Among the grounds they listed in seeking the impeachment of Sereno – whose predecessor Renato Corona was impeached in May 2012 – are the following:
• culpable violation of the Constitution. The complainants alleged that Sereno issued an administrative order setting up a new judiciary administration office (JDO) and opening of an RTC administration office (RCAO) in Western Visayas without approval of the court en banc.
• Sereno appointed Atty. Brenda Jay Mendoza as Philippine Mediation Center Office chief based solely on a memorandum.
• Sereno approved giving of travel allowances to her staff for foreign travel without knowledge of the court en banc.
• There was negligence by Sereno in sitting on the application for the position of deputy clerk of court and chief attorney, which had been vacant for three years.
• Sereno appointed Atty. Solomon Lumba as her staff head II despite knowing he is a UP professor when he was named to the SC post.
The VACC said it was confident there is basis and enough evidence to boost its complaint against Sereno. The evidence came mostly from the SC itself and from some magistrates in the high court, Jimenez said.
Staff at the office of the Secretary General at the HOR received a copy of the impeachment complaint from VACC, which expressed hope that a lawmaker will endorse it so it is deemed filed.