In an interview, Bongbong Marcos said that the recount for his election protest against Leni Robredo must proceed regardless of whether or not the Supreme Court Chief Maria Lourdes Sereno will resign or get impeached. He assures the public that abandoning it is not an option for the 2018 Senatorial election because he is certain he’s the Vice President. Just recently, Presidential spokesman Harry Roque issued the call that says; Sereno should resign and save the institution from “further damage.”
[VIDEO]: Bongbong Marcos nagsalita na sa Impeachment ni CJ Sereno
Probable Cause for Impeachment
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque issued the call as the House committee on justice prepares to meet on Nov. 20 to determine if there is probable cause to pursue impeachment proceedings against Sereno. Roque explained that the judiciary might not survive another removal of a chief justice through impeachment. He refers to the 2012 ouster of Sereno’s predecessor Renato Corona during the Aquino administration. Corona was impeached for not declaring all his wealth in his statements of assets, liabilities and net worth or SALN.
The President Wants to Remove the CJ
Asked whether President Duterte shared his view on Sereno, Roque said, “Of course, the President wants her removed altogether, by all means.” Last month, the House of Representatives voted to impeach Andres Bautista, but he stepped down as chairman of the Commission on Elections before the chamber could forward his case to the Senate for trial. During the Aquino administration, the House also impeached Merceditas Gutierrez. She resigned as ombudsman instead of facing the Senate impeachment court.
The impeachment complaint against Sereno, filed by lawyer Lorenzo Gadon, stems from her alleged failure to declare P37 million in professional fees as a private lawyer representing the government. This is in the case against Philippine International Air Terminals Co. Inc (Piatco), builder of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3.
Not Abandoning Protest
Bongbong Marcos knows that Robredo’s camp hopes for him to run as Senator so that his electoral protest is deemed moot. He said that doing so is an admission that he was not the winner of the Vice Presidential race. Since he is confident that he could have won if not cheated, there’s no way that he will abandon it. In fact, he is calling for the immediate recount.
The House justice committee declares that the impeachment complaint against Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno has “sufficient grounds.” She is an appointee of Pnoy. The complaint of lawyer Larry Gadon cites at least 27 points against the Chief Justice. This occurs when COMELEC asks for additional time to comply with the SC’s show cause order on Bongbong Marcos’ recount preparation. Will this speed up the VP electoral protest? Sereno vows not to attend the hearings to prioritize her work. However, Marcos is confident that he will soon be Vice President.
[VIDEO]: Impeachment complaint vs CJ Sereno, idineklarang ‘sufficient in grounds’
Majority Votes against the Supreme Court CJ
Twenty-five members of the committee voted in favor to declare sufficient grounds for the complaint. Only two opposed it. Albay 1st District Representative Edcel Lagman and Dinagat Representative Kaka Bag-ao argued that the sufficiency of grounds must be discussed one by one. Lagman who belongs to the minority, cannot vote. He is not a member of the committee.
Timing Coincides with Recount
The committee is to deliberate if there is probable cause to pursue the impeachment complaint. Committee chairman Reynaldo Umali said this would happen in November when the recount is expected to start. The impeachment session is set to adjourn on October 14. It resumes on November 13.
Alliance with President Du30
Bongbong Marcos confirms that his family was in talks with the President, a political ally. This is to end the previous government’s hunt for billions of dollars worth of national assets deposited by the Marcos patriarch for the welfare of the people at the World Bank. The son insists that they do not need immunity because they are innocent of any wrongdoing. They are willing to help in the proceeding.
The Real Vice President
“We are definitely sure that when the recount starts the true result will emerge and prove that the votes in the vice-presidential election had been incorrectly counted,” Marcos addresses the media during a press conference. It seems that he is really aware of the current moves of the government given the circumstances. Perhaps Sereno’s impeachment and the recount timing is not a coincidence.
Lawyer Larry Gadon who filed an impeachment complaint against Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno admits that he ran for Senator under the banner of Lakas and the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) in 2016. The party is affiliated with the Marcoses. But he firmly denied; “No, Bongbong Marcos has nothing to do with this complaint. In fact, he was surprised that I am the one who filed it.”
[VIDEO]: Bongbong, Duterte backing Sereno impeachment? Lawyer says no
No Presidential Influence
He also denied that President Du30 is behind the complaint. “I only met the President 5 times and we never talked. Just a shake hand and ‘hi, sir’ and thank you. That’s all. He has nothing to do with this.”
Gadon also denied that former President and now Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is behind the complaint. This speculation mushrooms after her previous appointee, the late Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, was impeached and removed from the High Court. Gadon is a member of Arroyo’s legal team.
Vengeance is Not for Arroyo
Gadon previously tried to convince Mrs. Arroyo to file a complaint against Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales. This was for malicious persecution but Mrs. Arroyo rejected the idea. He was even scolded when he told reporters that she was contemplating on filing a case. He said this time that Mrs. Arroyo did not endorse the impeachment complaint against Sereno. “I did not ask her,” he said.
Sufficient in Form and Substance
The House of Representatives justice committee recently announces that Gadon’s complaint is sufficient in form and substance. Among the Supreme Court documents, Gadon used were official lists of Sereno’s travel expenses and appointment letters. He also cited the Supreme Court’s purchase of a P5.1 million luxury vehicle for the CJ. Sereno’s discrepancies on her statement of assets liabilities and net worth (SALN) and her attorney’s fees in the Piatco Case were also raised. Sereno decided to keep quiet about it and refrained from making comments.