Tijam to Sereno: Attend impeach hearing, explain benefits delay
Supreme Court Associate Justice Noel Tijam urged Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to attend the House justice committee hearings deliberating her impeachment to explain why she dilly-dallied on the benefits of court retirees and their spouses.
“I encourage the Chief Justice to attend so that she can explain why she dilly dallied and decided not to bring it to the attention of en banc,” Tijam said during the resumption of House impeachment hearings against Sereno on Monday.
“If she continues to ignore participating in this committee, that would show disdain and contempt to this committee as this is a constitutional process,” Tijam said.
Tijam, who was President Duterte’s first appointed justice in the SC, also took a swipe at Sereno for not immediately bringing the matter of the survivorship benefits to the en banc.
One of the bases for Sereno’s impeachment was the inordinate delay in the resolution on the survivorship benefits for the court justices and judges’ spouses. The complaint said Sereno and some other justices’ creation of special committees to decide on the benefits caused the SC to delay the resolution for more than two years.
“I don’t understand why it took two years. The en banc can immediately issue decision provided that it’s immediately brought to the SC’s attention. We cherish the urgency of important matters,” Tijam said.
“It’s better to have 15 minds rather than have one person deciding whether it’s important or not,” he said. /cbb
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