2nd impeachment complaint vs Sereno insufficient in form
The House of Representatives justice committee on Wednesday found as insufficient in form the second impeachment complaint lodged against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
During the justice committee hearing on Wednesday, at least 28 members stood up after finding that the complaint, filed by Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) founding chair Dante Jimenez and Vanguard of the Philippine Constitution president Eligio Mallari, insufficient in form.
Only five lawmakers found the complaint sufficient in form.
The reason the complaint was found insufficient because it used a verification form used for complaints endorsed by one third members of the House.
The verification used was not for complaints filed by private individuals.
The committee dismissed the complaint due to insufficient form even though the complaint is attached with authentic documents from the Supreme Court.
Lawmakers reminded the complainant to comply with the proper verification form.
Meanwhile, the complaint filed by lawyer Larry Gadon was earlier found sufficient in form and substance.
In an interview after the hearing, Jimenez said he harbor no ill feelings, adding that the dismissal of their complaint due to insufficiency in form is just democracy at work.
Jimenez said he will ask permission from the justice committee for the complainants to rectify their error on the verification.
“If we could still rectify this form, because first time kaming magfile ng impeachment complaint against the Chief Justice, we will coordinate with the committee on justice on how we will be able to rectify this,” Jimenez said.
“We are happy, at least yung committee on justice is doing its work… That is how democracy must work. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose,” Jimenez added.
Majority leader Rudy Fariñas said the committee has to be consistent in its earlier vow to be strict against deficient impeachment complaints even on the basis of form alone.
“Required sa Constitution that when you file a complaint against an impeachable official, it must be verified. It’s the Constitution that required that. Then there’s the form already accepted in the Rules of Court ano ba ang verification, so dapat ilagay mo dun personal knowledge mo or culled from authentic or official records,” Fariñas said.
In the Jimenez-Mallari complaint, Sereno is accused 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 Supreme Court en banc.
Sereno is also accused 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.
Sereno is also accused of charging foreign travel allowances for her staff against Supreme Court funds without the approval of the entire court. /idl
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