Umali tells SC clerk of court: ‘Wag tayong pilosopo’
A Supreme Court official drew the ire of lawmakers for repeatedly invoking a “confidentiality rule” on administrative matters, which the members of the House justice committee deemed non-existent after the SC en banc allowed court justices and officials to testify in the hearings.
During the resumption of the hearing on Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Wednesday, committee chair Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali chided SC clerk of court Felipa Anama for being seemingly evasive about the SC’s transferring of Maute cases to the court in Taguig.
“‘Wag tayo maging pilosopo dito,” Umali told Anama, who in replied, “Hindi po. I respect this committee.”
Anama argued that she could invoke confidentiality because her name was not mentioned in the SC resolution that allowed court justices and employees to testify in the hearing.
Citing Rule 7 of the SC’s internal rules, Anama said she could not discuss confidential bar matters, administrative cases, and criminal cases.
But Umali said, “I can read and understand fully what’s in this and I know that you’re not part of this list. It’s just a matter of time that perhaps, kasi wala pa kayo noong unang invitation kaya hindi kayo nasama.”
The lawmakers were asking Anama whether Sereno was a member-in-charge in the Maute cases. Anama declined to confirm this, dodging questions from Compostela Valley 2nd district Rep Ruwel Gonzaga and Pampanga 3rd District Rep. Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales Jr.
This prompted a visibly irked Umali to intervene. He asked Anama to cooperate with the committee, since Sereno herself already admitted in her verified answer that she was a member-in-charge for the cases.
“Ayaw mo sabihin pero ‘yung si Chief Justice mismo nagsabi na siya ang member in charge so ano pa ang tinatago natin kung inamin na ni Chief Justice?” Umali said.
Anama then answered, “Inamin na po ni Chief Justice. Wala na po akong magagawa.”
Complainant Lorenzo Gadon said Sereno committed culpable violations of the constitution when she “manipulated and thereafter delayed the resolution of A.M. No. 17-06-02-SC or the request of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II to transfer the Maute cases outside of Mindanao) after realizing that she lost in the voting.”
Gadon said that on June 19, Sereno caused the resolution on the Maute cases be “raffled” to her after earlier “assigning” it to SC Associate Justice Noel Tijam, “which is in total disregard of the internal rules of the court and therefore highly questionable.” /cbb
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