The Daily Manila Shimbun


Sereno denies charges in impeachment complaint

August 24, 2017

Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno on Thursday denied allegations made in the impeachment complaint filed before the House of Representatives.

Sereno faced reporters in her annual meeting with the press in Cebu City. It was her first appearance since several groups sought her ouster through impeachment.

"I have always lived a life of modesty. I have been prudent in the use of the court's resources. All the expenses for judicial reforms, my travels, my security, and vehicle requirements are all regular and aboveboard," the chief justice told reporters covering the event.

Sereno said she did not feel alluded to about a remark of President Rodrigo Duterte that a government official has spending government funds extravagantly .

She only recalled staying at a presidential suite of a hotel in Boracay during a meeting of chief justices in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, but said it was offered free and no government funds were spent.

Sereno said official documents released by the SC to the impeachment complainants would vindicate her from the charges.

The complainants in the impeachment case against Sereno cited her alleged undisclosed assets in her statement of asset, liabilities and net worth (SALN) and extravagant spending of judicial funds by purchasing a P5-million Toyota Land Cruiser and traveling on first-class flights.

Last August 8, the high court granted the request of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) and the Vanguard of the Philippine Constitution Inc.  - the complainants in the first complaint against Sereno in the House of Representatives - for several documents that will support their allegations against the SC chief.

In another ruling last August 15, the high court granted the release of additional documents for the impeachment of Sereno as requested by lawyer Larry Gadon, who is set to file the second impeachment complaint against Sereno.

In the same forum, Sereno said she is unfazed by the impeachment charges.

"That's the beauty of having a clear conscience; it does not affect me at all... If I take an inordinate amount of time looking at it and being exasperated by those documents, work will not be done," she explained. DMS