Political analyst believes Sereno oust bid is politically motivated
The impeachment complaint lodged against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno is politically motivated and does not rise into a level of an impeachment process, a political analyst said Tuesday.
Political analyst Prof. Ramon Casiple said the two complaints recently filed at the House of Representatives against Sereno can be pursued through other means instead of an impeachment process.
“Tingin ko hindi nagra-rise into the level of an impeachment process. Pwedeng mahabol yan, o maghabol siya sa ibang paraan rather than impeachment,” Casiple said in an interview with DZIQ Radyo Inquirer 990.
(I think the impeachment does not rise into the level of an impeachment process. They can pursue it or he can go after it through other means rather than impeachment.)
“Very political ang dating sa akin ng complaint na yan. And within the context na ‘yan ng iba’t ibang motibo, kung sino yung tingin mo ay behind it,” he added.
(The complaint seems very political to me. And that’s within the context of various motives whoever you think is behind it.)
Sixteen lawmakers endorsed the second impeachment complaint filed Monday by Volunteer Against Crime and Corruption founding chair Dante Jimenez and Vanguard of the Philippine Constitution president Eligio Mallari.
Jimenez and Mallari 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 to Supreme Court funds without the approval of the entire court.
Lawyer Lorenzo Gadon, on the other hand, filed the first impeachment complaint last week after it was endorsed by 25 lawmakers.
Gadon alleged that Sereno failed to disclose her real net worth, bought a luxury car using public funds, and pressured judges to defy the Duterte administration.
A vote of one-third of the 293 members of the House is required to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate, whose members will serve as judges in the trial.
Casiple warned that such move “tinkers” with the country’s democratic setup and would not just target Sereno but the whole Judiciary.
“Hindi lamang yung usapin na matanggal mo yung partikular na tao; ang posibleng maging biktima sa impeachment process yung institution itself,” Casiple said.
(The issue is not just removing a particular person; the possible victim of the impeachment process is the institution itself.)
Casiple, however, thought that President Rodrigo Duterte had no hand in the complaint, unlike in the case of former Chief Justice Renato Corona, who was impeached in 2012.
It is not yet clear if the complaint will flourish at the Congress, Casiple said, as it will always depend on the public’s support.
“Do they have evidence na maniniwala yung tao (that will make the people believe)? Kasi (Because) at the end of the day, ang judge dito public e (the judge here is the public).” JPV