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CJ Sereno remains calm amid complaint of impeachment

by UNTV   |   Posted on Thursday, October 12th, 2017

Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno

MANILA, Philippines — Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno remains calm amid the impeachment complaint she is now facing before the House of Representatives.

In her speech at the gathering of the Philippine Trial Judge League incorporated in Palo Leyte on Wednesday, Sereno reiterated that she has a clear conscience.

The chief justice also noted that she has never lied, or deceived others.

Sereno said that she trusts the public and that institutions of the government would disclose the lies being hurled against her.

She said she is just doing her job as the Supreme Court’s top magistrate.

This is her first public appearance after the House justice committee affirmed that complaint against her has sufficient basis.

Sereno also urged the judges to perform properly their sworn duties and to not let politics affect their work.

The chief justice emphasized as well that she did not attend the event to seek support from the judges. — UNTV News & Rescue

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House committee orders BIR to check on CJ Sereno’s income tax return

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, February 8th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines – The Lower House wants to check if Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno has hidden wealth which can be a ground for impeachment.

The House Committee on Justice has given the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) until February 19 to finish its investigation on the matter.

During the impeachment hearing, Wednesday, the committee tackled Sereno’s alleged failure to submit her Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth or SALN for her 15 years of working as a professor at the University of the Philippines.

The law states that once a government official or employee fails to submit his or her SALN, he or she will face imprisonment of up to 5 years and fine of up to P5,000.

It can be recalled that such offense was the cause of impeachment of former Chief Justice Renato Corona.

“An investigation is the proper mode of obtaining all of this information in a comprehensive manner,” Committee on Justice Chairman Rep. Reynaldo Umali said.

“We can do the formal investigation so that we can assess whether or not there was under declaration or non-declarations of income,” BIR Deputy Commissioner for Operations Arnell Guballa said.

In Wednesday’s hearing, the House Committee confronted Atty. Michael Ocampo of the Office of the Chief Justice to justify the SC’s need to hire a consultant.

They were referring to Helen Macasaet, who Sereno hired and paid a monthly salary of 250,000.

Ocampo said Sereno chose Macasaet because of her skills and expertise in information technology.

Macasaet was the one who solved the largest database crisis in GSIS.

“I don’t receive any allowance or anything from the Supreme Court unlike most of the employees or officials of the court. So excluding all those personal expenses which are related to performing my work, I would be getting more or less a net of P80,000,” Macasaet said.

The committee targets to finish the probe and release a committee report before the end of this month.— Joan Nano | UNTV News & Rescue

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House Speaker calls on members to endorse impeachment complaint vs Ombudsman

by UNTV   |   Posted on Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez called on the members of the House to endorse the impeachment complaint against Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales.

This, after Morales defied Malacañang’s order suspending Overall Deputy Ombudsman Melchor Arthur Carandang.

Prior to this, former Negros Oriental Representative Jacinto “Jing” Paras appealed to his fellow representatives to endorse his filed complaint, which is still pending at the House secretary general’s office, awaiting endorsement.

“There are two of us now who are calling on to you. I cannot do the endorsement as it may draw criticisms once again,” said Alvarez. — UNTV News & Rescue

 

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Former Cong. Paras wants to revive impeachment complaint vs. Ombudsman Morales

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Saturday, February 3rd, 2018

Former Negros Oriental Rep. Jacinto Paras (Left) & Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales (Right)

 

MANILA, Philippines – Former Negros Oriental Rep. Jacinto Paras calls on the members of the House of Representatives (HoR) to endorse their impeachment complaint against Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales.

Paras believes that it is high time to impeach Morales after she defied the Malacañang suspension order against Overall Deputy Ombudsman Melchor Arthur Carandang.

“Under the Constitution, the only way to hold her liable is through impeachment,” Paras said.

Before the impeachment complaint against Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales was filed last December 2017, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez confirmed that there are congressmen expressed willingness to endorse the complaint.

Paras, however, said some congressmen have changed their minds due to fear that the ombudsman might get back at them.

“If Morales was against you she can a file case on just one day, that’s why they are afraid to endorse,” Paras said.

On the other hand, House Committee on Justice Chairman Reynaldo Umali, said if someone endorsed the complaint, then they are constrained to hear the case.

“Then we will be constrained to hear the case,” Umali said.

The ombudsman has yet to comment on the issue.

Meanwhile, Akbayan party-list Rep. Tom Villarin has defended the ombudsman, saying Morales’s decision is commendable. – Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue

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