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Motion to intervene quo warranto vs. Sereno filed anew

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, March 23rd, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno

MANILA, Philippines — The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) on Friday filed before the Supreme Court the second motion to intervene in the quo warranto plea against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

The motion aims to seek for court’s approval to allow them to weigh the petition which asks for the nullification of the appointment of the highest court official.

This is aside from the deliberation that will be done by the magistrates of the Supreme Court.

“We think that this is a very critical period in the democratic life of the country. Whether or not, the judiciary will be strengthened, will more or less be determined by events that led to the filing of the impeachment complaint at a quo warranto petition by the republic,” IBP Pres. Abdiel Fajardo.

This, they said is a threat to the freedom of public officials who will go against the ideals of the administration.

It’s also a form of shortcut to the impeachment process since under the Constitution — it is only through impeachment in which the chief justice can be removed for an impeachable offense.

“We will be participating as opposition, possibly if we are granted permission by the court,” Fajardo said.

— Mai Bermudez | UNTV News & Rescue


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Impeachment complaint vs. 7 SC magistrates ‘insufficient in substance’ – HOR

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, September 11th, 2018

The House Committee on Justice


QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The House Committee on Justice ruled on Tuesday (September 11) that the impeachment complaint filed against the seven magistrates of the Supreme Court (SC) is insufficient in substance.

The House committee members voted 23-1 to drop the complaint filed by Albay Representative Edcel Lagman against SC Associate Justices Lucas Bersamin, Diosdado Peralta, Francis Jardaleza, Noel Tijam, Andres Reyes, Alexander Gersmundo and now Chief Justice Teresita De Castro.

During the hearing, Lagman insisted that the magistrates committed an impeachable offense for not inhibiting from the proceedings of the quo warranto petition filed against former CJ Maria Lourdes Sereno despite them being vocal of their grudges against her, and also for bypassing Congressional power to impeach an impeachable official.

“The Supreme Court cannot be supreme in its errors, particularly in the malicious decision. There is always a way in getting account and that is through impeachment,” Lagman argued.

On the other hand, several lawmakers opposed Lagman’s argument citing that the magistrates acted only as mandated by their judicial duties.

“The justices of the Supreme Court were duty bound to decide on the petition. Their fidelity of to their judicial duty is not an impeachable offense simply because none disagreed with their decision,” said Angkla Party-list Rep. Jess Manalo.

Cavite representative Strike Revilla said there is no reason to punish the magistrates while Rep. Henry Oamenal of Misamis Occidental said: “If the complaint would succeed then there would be no quorum in the Supreme Court.”

But according to House rules, the House Committee’s decision can still be contested and reversed if the complaint obtains 1/3 of the votes in the Lower House. – Grace Casin / Marje Pelayo

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7 SC justices face impeachment raps over Sereno ouster

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, August 24th, 2018


FILE PHOTO: Supreme Court

Seven out of the eight Supreme Court associate justices who voted to oust former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno in a controversial petition for quo warranto are now facing impeachment complaints before the House of Representatives.

The complaints were filed on Thursday, August 23 by some members of the so-called Magnificent 7 opposition bloc.

Justices Teresita de Castro, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Andres Reyes, Francis Jardeleza, Noel Tijam, and Alexander Gesmundo are charged with culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust.

De Castro, Peralta, Bersamin, Tijam and Jardeleza are also charged with betrayal of public trust for their refusal to inhibit themselves in the adjudication of the quo warranto petition despite their patent and continuing ill will, bias and prejudice against Sereno as shown by their respective testimonies before the House Committee on Justice and their statements during the oral arguments in the quo warranto petition.

Ombudsman Samuel Martires, who was one of the eight Justices who removed Sereno, was not included in the complaint because he is no longer an incumbent associate justice.

The complainants, which include Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, Akbayan Rep. Tomas Villarin, Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano and Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat, Jr., said that the ruling which ousted Sereno “is not only errant, it is also malevolent. It is not only bereft of constitutional anchorage, it is also a blatant subterfuge, an orchestrated charade.”

Alejano added, “Anyone abusing their power especially impeachable officers should be held accountable.”

Justices De Castro, Peralta, Reyes and Bersamin are nominated to be the next chief justice.

Under the Revised Rules of the JBC applicants for the position of chief justice facing criminal and administrative case should be disqualified in any position in the Judiciary.

Lagman said, “In this particular case we are saying that the impeachment complaints are even more than the administrative case and by polity of reasoning the impeachment complaint must bar the said justices from aspiring for position of chief justice.” – Grace Casin

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Gadon welcomes forwarding of Sereno graft charges to Ombudsman

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, August 21st, 2018

Lawyer Lorenzo “Larry” Gadon

Lawyer Lorenzo “Larry” Gadon lauded the decision of the Department of Justice to forward the graft complaint against ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to the Office of the Ombudsman.

Gadon filed before the DOJ last January the graft complaint against Sereno whom he accused of failing to file her SALNs during her 17-year stint as a professor at the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Law.

The preliminary investigation on Gadon’s complaints was shelved at the DOJ since, at the time they were filed, Sereno was still Chief Justice and was immune from suit.

Guevarra said he has endorsed the complaint against Sereno to the top anti-graft office after she was ousted as top magistrate via quo warranto proceedings. — Mai Bermudez

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