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House committee finds Gadon impeachment complaint vs Sereno sufficient in form and substance

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

MANILA, Philippines — House Committee on Justice said the impeachment complaint filed by Atty. Larry Gadon against Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno is sufficient in form and substance.

Thirty congressmen voted to declare the complaint as such while five voted against it.

In the said hearing, Bayan Muna Party list Rep. Carlos Zarate questioned the evidence presented by the complainant.

“Even if you read the complaint all the allegations are base on news paper clippings I don’t think that is personal knowledge,” Zarate said.

But Majority Floor Leader Cong. Rudy Fariñas said they have original copies of the documents from the Supreme Court.

“The Office of the Clerk of Court en Banc is directed to furnish to Atty. 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.

Meanwhile the committee dismissed the complaint filed by Dante Jimenez of VACC and Atty. Eligio Mallari of the Vanguard.

Cong. Fariñas, one of the lawmakers who voted against it, said the complaint is not verified and not notarized.

“It has to have personal knowledge and then or culled for an authentic records but that’s not what they put in the verification they just copied the verification by 1/3 of all the members of the house,” Fariñas added.

The complainant requested the House Committee to allow them to fix it before dismissing the complaint.

“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.

However, the House Committee said it does not want to waste time for an unverified complaint.

“I declare that the second complaint that of Dante Jimenez and the other complainant already dismiss, what’s next I have already order the com sec to already send notice to the Chief Justice to answer,” House Committee on Justice Chairman Rep. Reynaldo Umali said.

In the next hearing of the committee, the lawmakers will determine if the complaint has probable cause.  The witnesses in the complaint will also appear in the said hearing.

Gadon noted six Supreme Court justices will testify against the chief magistrate. – Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue

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Sereno insists charges against her have no sufficient basis

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, December 8th, 2017

Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno

MANILA, Philippines – Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno has reacted to the hearings being conducted by the House Justice Committee on her impeachment case.

She was a guest at a professional lecture on judicial accountability held at the Supreme Court, Thursday morning.

The Chief Justice said she subjected herself to the process in order to protect the independence and dignity of the courts.

“I have submitted myself to this process according to the rights that are accorded in my position. And I hope that you have taken it in all good faith that that is my intent to defend the dignity and independence of the judiciary. In various fora, I have already tried to encapsulate in very, very brief form why the charges against me, in fact, should bear no sufficient basis,” Sereno said.

She said it’s most important to her to keep the independence of the judiciary and that she has been following this principle since her appointment to the court.

Sereno requested three things from the members of the judiciary:  continue working undistracted, be vigilant and continue to pray.

“Please continue to focus on your work. Nothing should distract us. There is much to be done for this country. Our country is crying for justice,” said Sereno.

The Chief Justice was also a guest in the forum organized by the newly-formed Voices of Women for Justice and Peace.

She refused to comment on the statement of House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez who said that the evidence against her is piling up.

“I have not yet heard him say anything so I cannot comment. So let’s just leave it at that,” Sereno said.

The women’s group has expressed support for the Chief Justice’s fight. – Roderic Mendoza | UNTV News & Rescue

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CJ Sereno urges lawyers to pressure the government in upholding human rights

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, November 24th, 2017

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno urges members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines to defend human rights amidst increasingly glaring atmosphere of impunity in the country.

In her speech in the Pagtugon sa Hamon Summit, Thursday, Sereno also calls on lawyers to pressure the government in upholding human rights, pointing to extrajudicial killings that are happening in relation to the administration’s war on drugs.

She emphasizes that applying such pressure is part of lawyers’ duties.

The Chief Justice said it is high time that the culture of accountability be institutionalized in order to end impunity and human rights violations in the country.

“Pressure is important, pressure must be continually built up, in all fora, venues and information platforms, for all public officers to respect human rights, to not issue any statement that encourages a disregard for human rights and to investigate human rights violations…make your stand, make your stand in such a way that no one will doubt that your hearts are with the Filipino people,” Sereno said. – UNTV News & Rescue

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Malacañang calls for resignation of Supreme Court Chief Justice Sereno

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court does not deserve to have another chief justice impeached by the Senate.

This is the statement of presidential spokesperson, Secretary Harry Roque.

So to spare the Supreme Court from further damage, Malacañang encouraged Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to resign.

“I call upon Chief Justice Sereno to really consider resigning if only to spare the institution from any further damage,” Roque said.

He also assured that this is also the position of President Rodrigo Duterte and this does not mean that the Executive branch is intervening with the judiciary.

“I’m commenting about an impeachment proceeding, it has nothing to do with judiciary. It’s about personal liability for an impeachable officer and the issue there is whether or not she committed impeachable offenses. So, I’m not undermining the judiciary. I’m not intervening with the affairs of the judiciary,” Roque said.

On the other hand, CJ Sereno’s camp remains firm that the Chief Justice will not be resigning and she will face the impeachment proceedings to preserve the dignity and independence of the Supreme Court and the Office of the Chief Justice.

Sereno also said she has done nothing to damage the institution and she has been doing everything to strengthen it.

Meanwhile, Akbayan Partylist Rep. Tom Villarin said such statement of Roque implies the obvious intervention of Malacañang in the impeachment process.

President Duterte before has challenged both CJ Sereno and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales to resign with him because of his alleged hidden wealth and selective justice of Ombudsman. – Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue


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