SC justice belies CA justice’s remark on Sereno ‘interference’ in ‘Ilocos 6’
A Supreme Court (SC) associate justice contradicted a Court of Appeals (CA) associate justice’s statement that Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno “interfered” with the row of the House of Representatives and the CA over the case of six Ilocos Norte officials.
The Ilocos Norte officials were cited in contempt and ordered detained for refusing to cooperate in the probe at the House on the alleged misuse of tobacco tax proceeds.
In a previous hearing on the determination of probable cause of the impeachment case against Sereno, Associate Justice Remedios Salazar-Fernando, citing a conversation between Associate Justice Andres Reyes, Jr. and Sereno, said the top magistrate “advised the three justices to file a petition for prohibition before the Supreme Court at siya na raw ang bahala (and she will take care of it).”
Sereno, in her Sept. 25 counter-affidavit, confirmed she “conferred” with Reyes about the Ilocos Six issue, but denied having “instructed” the CA to “defy” the House.
But during Monday’s hearing, Reyes belied Fernando’s statement.
Upon the questioning of Cebu 3r District Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia, Reyes recalled that Sereno told him, “Supreme Court na ang magha-handle ng case na yan… Supreme Court na ang bahala (The Supreme Court will handle the case… the Supreme Court will take care of it).”
Reyes added that the Chief Justice only said that “if they would like, they may file a petition.”
“She was as if saying that the petition would be handled by the SC,” Reyes added.
Lawyer-complainant Lorenzo Gadon is accusing the top magistrate of violating the Code of Judicial Conduct, because of allegedly commenting on the case.
Canon 3, rule 3.7 under the code of conduct states that a “judge should abstain from making public comments on any pending or impending case and should require similar restraint on the part of court personnel.” /je
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