16 lawmakers endorse 2nd impeachment complaint vs Sereno
Published: 7:26 p.m., Sept. 4, 2017 | Updated: 12:16 a.m., Sept. 5, 2017
Sixteen lawmakers endorsed the second impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, paving the way for its referral to the House justice committee.
The impeachment complaint was filed last month by Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption founding chair Dante Jimenez and Vanguard of the Philippine Constitution president Eligio Mallari.
After being deemed “filed” on Monday, the verified complaint can finally be processed and forwarded to Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, who will later refer it to the justice committee.
The Jimenez-Mallari complaint is separate from the verified impeachment complaint filed by lawyer Larry Gadon and endorsed by 25 legislators on Aug. 30.
Lanao del Sur Rep. Mauyag Papandayan Jr., the first to endorse the complaint, even joined Jimenez and counsel Manuelito Luna in an interview. He said he found this complaint “more believable” than the Gadon complaint.
Deputy Speakers Fredenil Castro (Capiz) and Sharon Garin (Aambis-Owa party-list) also endorsed the complaint.
Other endorsers, in the order of their signing, were: 1-Pacman Rep. Enrico Pineda, Manila Teachers Rep. Virgilio Lacson, Yacap Rep. Benhur Lopez Jr., Negros Oriental Rep. Arnulfo Teves Jr., Iloilo City Rep. Jerry Treñas, Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone, Biliran Rep. Rogelio Espina, Iloilo Rep. Arthur Defensor Jr., Iloilo Rep. Ferjenil Biron, Abang Lingkod Rep. Joseph Stephen Paduano, Iloilo Rep. Raul Tupas, Cebu Rep. Benhur Salimbangon and Aklan Rep. Carlito Marquez.
While Gadon accused Sereno of corruption, Jimenez and Mallari accused Sereno of culpable violation of the Constitution when she created a new Judiciary Decentralized Office and reopened the Regional Court Administration Office in Western Visayas without authority from the entire court.
Betrayal of public trust
The duo also accused Sereno of betrayal of public trust “through inexcusable negligence” for sitting on applications for the posts of Supreme Court deputy clerk of court and chief attorney, as well as two positions for assistant court administrator.
They also accused Sereno of charging foreign travel allowances for her staff against Supreme Court funds without the approval of the entire court.
Jimenez and Mallari tried to submit the complaint on Aug. 2, but no congressman came forward to endorse the complaint at the time.
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