Fariñas thinks Sereno violated Constitution for creating JDO
Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno’s issuance of an administrative order creating the Judiciary Decentralized Office (JDO) and appointing its head without the consent of the Supreme Court (SC) en banc was a violation of the Constitution and the law, a solon hinted on Wednesday.
During the continuation of the hearing of the House of Representatives justice panel into the determination of probable cause of Sereno’s impeachment case, Ilocos Norte 1st District Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas asked SC Associate Justice Teresita de Castro if she thinks Sereno violated the Constitution.
De Castro “declined to answer” the question, which prompted Fariñas to read her memorandum addressed to the chief magistrate.
De Castro’s memorandum paragraph 7, as read by Fariñas, states that: “Administrative order no. 175-2012 dated Nov. 9, 2012, which was reiterated in administrative order no. 185-2012 dated Nov. 27, 2012, has transgressed the said Constitutional authority of the court en banc and the statutory authority of the OCA (Office of the Court Administrator).”
While De Castro refused to air her opinion on this, Fariñas said her memorandum “clearly” states that Sereno’s act was against the law.
“You’re not answering it but anyway you stated it very clearly in your letter. Dahil yun nga ho ang tingin ng iba at ng complainant na nilabag ng punong hukom ng Korte Suprema ‘yung Constitution dahil ‘yung karapatan o kapangyarihan na nilahad ng Saligang Batas para dun sa buong SC e ginagampanan nya ng sarili lamang nya,” he said.
“At dito po sa panig namin sa Kongreso, at sa PD (Presidential Decree) 828 ay nilalabag din po dahil nagke-create na po sya at naga-appoint ng hindi approved ng SC which clearly states thats he can only appoint staff with approval of the court en banc,” he added.
On November 27, 2012, Sereno issued Administrative Order No. 175-2012 creating the JDO and reopening the post of RCAO-7 Associate Justice “without getting the approval of the Supreme Court en banc.”
She also appointed Geraldine Faith Econg, the court’s head of the program management office, as chief of RCAO-7.
Both orders were opposed by De Castro, who claimed to be “taken aback” by Sereno’s actions.
“I did not want to put her down. I just want to correct what she has done,” De Castro said, adding that Sereno did nothing to address her concerns.
The orders were part of the basis of complainant Atty. Lorenzo “Larry” Gadon for accusing Sereno of culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of public trust, corruption and other high crimes.
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