ASEANEWS’ HEADLINE: EXCLUSIVE – ‘Du30 urges fast-track ouster of Chief Justice’ By The Manila Standard – Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Du30 urges fast-track ouster of Chief Justice


PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte urged lawmakers to speed up the impeachment of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, declaring her an enemy and stacking the odds against her staying in office.

“I’m putting you [Sereno] on notice that I am now your enemy and you have to be out of the Supreme Court,” Duterte said before flying to China for an economic forum.

“I held my temper before because she’s a woman. This time I’m asking the congressmen and the Speaker: ‘Do it now. Cut out the drama, or else I will do it for you’,” he added.

Duterte appeared enraged by Sereno’s statement linking him to the quo warranto petition filed against her before the Supreme Court by Solicitor General Jose Calida.

“I’m not into the habit of going after my enemies. I have no history on that,” Duterte said in a mix of English and Filipino. “You, Sereno, I told you I did not involve myself in this [but] if you are insisting, then count me in. Count me in and I will let Calida do his best.”

Saying that Congress could proceed with the impeachment process even while the Supreme Court is hearing the quo warranto petition, Duterte said he would ask House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to speed up moves to impeach her.

President Duterte said an ordinary public school teacher who does not fully disclose his statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth can be subject to dismissal while Sereno, who earned hefty lawyer’s fees from the government before she became chief justice, is asking for consideration.


President Rodrigo Duterte has called on his allies in Congress to hasten the impeachment of   Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno who in  her speech  at an event organized by a civil society group  coinciding with the Araw ng Kagitingan on Monday, accuses the Chief Executive of having a hand in the impeachment complaint and quo warranto petition against her.  Manny Palmero


“I told you I was not involved,” Duterte said in Filipino, addressing Sereno. “But you won’t stop yakking. Now I will strike you down. I will help any investigator and I will really strike you down.”

Alvarez on Monday responded to Duterte’s call to speed up the proceedings against Sereno.

“Yes, it will be done once we resume sessions,” Alvarez told the Manila Standard.

Alvarez earlier said the impeachment proceedings against Sereno would proceed despite the quo warranto petition filed against her at the Supreme Court last March.

An impeachment proceeding—which is an inherent power of Congress—and a quo warranto petition are two independent and legal courses of action to oust Sereno, he said.

“Impeachment is an implied and exclusive power of Congress. It presupposes a valid appointment. The quo warranto petition, on the other hand, is a legal action to question the validity of appointment itself,” he has said.

Alvarez is reportedly the prosecution manager of the 11-man prosecution panel once the case is sent to the Senate for trial.

The House committee on justice approved last month the articles of impeachment against Sereno containing six charges.

The panel chairman, Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, said “the six articles are anchored on strong evidence, documentary, and testimonial that will stand trial.”

With a vote of 33-1, the committee approved the committee report and articles of impeachment against Sereno before it adjourned March 23.

The committee report and articles of impeachment shall be submitted to the House plenary for deliberation and approval. If it earns one-third of the votes of all the representatives, the impeachment complaint will be transmitted to the Senate, which shall convene as an impeachment court.

The first article charges Sereno of non-filing and non-disclosure of SALN constituting the impeachable grounds of culpable violation of the Constitution and/or betrayal of public trust.

The second article charges the chief justice of committing corruption and betrayal of public trust over the misuse of P18 million of public funds.

This covers the chief magistrate’s procurement and purchase of a Toyota Land Cruiser worth over P5 million, violation of the procurement law, causing the hiring and engagement of a costly IT consultant, and misuse of roughly P3 million of government funds in the selection of Shangri-La Boracay for the 3rd Asean Chief Justices Meeting and subsequent arrangement for a room upgrade.

The third article charges Sereno of committing culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of public trust and/or other high crimes when she arrogated unto herself the powers reposed upon the Supreme Court en banc as a collegial, deliberative and consultative body.

This pertains to Sereno issuing and causing to be issued resolutions and orders without the approval of, or contrary to what was agreed upon by the en banc, through acts of misrepresentation and manipulation, showing a pattern of deception.

The fourth article alleges Sereno committed culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of public trust and/or other high crimes when she abused her position as the Chief Justice and ex-officio chairperson of the Judicial and Bar Council.

The fifth article charges her with culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust by undermining and violating the principles of separation of powers among the three branches of government.

Specifically, Sereno is alleged to have interfered with the House probe on the misuse of tobacco funds in Ilocos Norte by issuing a joint statement asking the House to reconsider its show cause order against three SC associate justices, as well as directing the justices to question any order issued by the House. It further notes that Sereno undermined and disrespected the impeachment proceedings against her.

The sixth/ and last article charges the Chief Justice with betrayal of public trust for failing to comply with her oath of office by tyrannical abuse of discretionary power./ The Manila Standard / posted April 10, 2018 at 01:50 am by Vito Barcelo and F. Pearl A. Gajunera, Maricel V. Cruz


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