Vice President Leni Robredo in support of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, who faces potential ouster from the Supreme Court (SC) said that as the duly-elected Vice President, she “will do everything in her power to right the wrong.” Robredo said this at the Free the Courts forum of the University of the Philippines (UP). She criticizes the quo warranto petition as the “final blow to the justice system. Her reference to herself as the “duly-elected Vice President,” garnered applause from the limited crowd of LP supporters. This is significant because of her questionable status. The recount of the votes in the protest filed by former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. or Bongbong Marcos is still ongoing. Many of her supporters are even convinced that she’s not the genuine VP because of the anomalies witnessed by real people. She’s just too naive to admit LP’s wicked works during the 2016 election – just like Sereno’s refusal to resign despite the calls from her peers.
[VIDEO]: Robredo backs Sereno: I will do everything to right this wrong
The Supreme Court Votes
Speculations abound that the Supreme Court will vote on the petition by May 11, 2018, and that the numbers seem to be against the Chief Justice. Some lawyers are protesting the alleged unconstitutionality of ousting a Chief Justice in a route outside of impeachment. Sereno herself said that her colleagues who are unfavorable to her from the start cannot oust her from the position.
There was massive cheating at the polls in 2016. The presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte reportedly got 21 million votes and ended up with only 16 million. The 5 million votes reportedly went to candidate Mar Roxas, who was fourth in the pre-poll surveys — next to Grace Poe and Jojo Binay — but went up to No. 2 after the ballots were counted. Duterte was so far ahead that all the cheating the Liberal Party did was in vain.
LP’s Back-Up Plan
So, failing to put Roxas in the No. 1 position in the presidential race, the LP had to make his vice presidential bet Robredo win at all cost. That’s the reason Bongbong Marcos was leading Robredo, her closest rival, by about 1 million votes on the night of May 14; but the people were shocked to find that she had overtaken him when they woke up the following morning.
Robredo might not know the maneuverings of her own party as she was too naive to even think of cheating. A supporter said that her husband Jesse always won handily in the elections for mayor of Naga City. Therefore she cannot imagine losing even if it against a popular rival such as Marcos. However, she absolutely give-in to those fraudulent acts as soon as she agreed to be LP’s political prostitute. This goes the same to Chief Justice Sereno. The people on the other hand, continue to show forces behind Marcos through their affiliations like the INC’s Guinness record-breaking charity walk and the Marcos Loyalists Movement gatherings nationwide.
Lawyer Lorenzo “Larry” Gadon recently said that Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno could not bring before the SC the decision of lawmakers. He insists that only she could cross-examine witnesses during the proceedings. Gadon filed the impeachment complaints against Sereno. He publicly admits that he wants to “avenge” former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo and the late Chief Justice Renato Corona. In addition, he also wants to make sure that the Vice Presidency goes to Bongbong Marcos.
[VIDEO]: Justices De Castro, Jardeleza to testify against Sereno – Atty. Gadon
Appeal for the Supreme Court CJ to Resign
Gadon earlier stresses that Sereno should resign to keep the integrity of the body that she is serving. He warns that the Congress Impeachment hearings are brutal. However, the CJ responded that to resign is nor even an option for her. This is allegedly so because she is certain that the case has no legal basis.
The Right to Counsel
Lawyer Jojo Lacanilao, a spokesperson for Sereno, said that the Constitution provides that the Chief Justice “be accorded the right to counsel and the right to cross-examine the complainant and the witnesses through her lawyers. These are the same rights that are guaranteed to every citizen of this country to ensure due process.” Gadon is told to review his law on this matter.
Sereno’s Camp Takes the Case as a Political Process
This political process involved a judicial character the same as that of a criminal prosecution,” Lacanilao said. The House Committee on Justice formally invited Sereno to the next impeachment hearing on Nov. 22. She insinuates that her lawyers will represent her.
Gadon wants the ones who benefit from the misfortunes of ex-President Arroyo and the late former CJ Corona, like Supreme Court Chief Justice Sereno, to be accountable for those.” Gadon also works to assure former Senator Bongbong Marcos’ timely take over to the VP post. He believes that as an appointee of Pnoy, Marcos’ electoral protest against Robredo won’t get the justice it deserves under Sereno’s Supreme Court watch.
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.
Some Supreme Court justices are worried that the entire 2016 election’s integrity of the entire election process could be in question should the first part of Bongbong Marcos’ electoral protest is addressed accordingly.
[VIDEO]: Marcos at Robredo,mag recount sa tig tatlong probinsya
The concern was discussed during the preliminary conference last July 11. Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno expresses her apprehension about the absence of “a template” to address the kind of protest that Bongbong Marcos brings to the court. This is the first time the SC faces such a protest.
First Course of Action
The “ first course of action” among the three that Marcos lodge is where he urges the PET to “declare as unauthentic” all the certificates of canvass used by both chambers of Congress in proclaiming Robredo as the winner. He disputes the slim margin of more than 200,000 votes against the millions of undervotes.
Associate Justice Marvic Leonen asks Marcos; “If you were to succeed in proving the first cause of action, wouldn’t that put into question the results of the elections of everybody else, both national and local,” said Associate Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa. “Are you sure that this country is willing to face the consequences of a decision in your favor?” Marcos’ spokesperson Vic Rodriguez explains later that their complaint is specific to the Vice Presidential race as evidence shows irregularities against Marcos.
Recount is Second
The second part of the Marcos petition is the “traditional” modes of cheating. Vote-buying, pre-shading, intimidation and failure of elections, among others. This is where the recount belongs. Marcos already identified the priority areas for it; Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental. As far as the integrity of the 2016 election is concerned, even the President knows that it was a dirty election. In fact, Cebu’s ex-Mayor Michael Rama has the same protest against Mayor Tomas Osmena. Anyhow, if the recount can resolve the VP race conflict faster, then be it.