By: Elena Grace Flores
Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro’s earlier testimony is supported by two other justices. She calls on the attention of the chief justice ever since. They claim that after 5 years, Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno still fails to ask the en banc. De Castro even asked; Until when will we suffer? As she implies on Sereno’s dictatorship at the SC. Bongbong Marcos, on the other hand, said that Sereno’s plight must not affect the recount for his election protest in February 2018 against Leni Robredo. Their proceeding is under the Tribunal. It might be favorable not to have an anti-Marcos as Chief Justice in a long run but for now, he can only see further delay in the ruling if she is impeached.
Video by; Rappler
[VIDEO]: Four justices of the Supreme Court – 3 incumbent and one retired – stand as witnesses in the impeachment case filed against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
Justices Criticize Sereno’s Dictatorship
Several associate justices of the Supreme Court openly criticize Chief Justice Sereno for mistakes she apparently makes during her 5-year term. “I believe that the actions of the chief justice from the time that she assumed her position showed no respect or courtesy to the court en banc,” said Associate De Castro. The House committee on justice continues to hear the impeachment case against Sereno.
Disregarding the En Banc
“I do not disagree with the characterizations made by Deputy Speaker Hernandez,” said Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza. He refers to South Cotabato 2nd District Representative Ferdinand Hernandez. Hernandez asks the SC justices if they are insulted by Sereno’s apparent habit of making decisions on her own. This is without consulting the en banc which refers to all 15 justices of the Supreme Court, including Sereno.
Advice to the Supreme Court CJ
“We are a very small group in the Supreme Court. I would tell her, don’t go that route. You are getting what you want through these devious means that are not right,” added retired associate justice, Arturo Brion. The House committee deliberates over 7 hearing days a complaint filed by lawyer Larry Gadon against Sereno. Among his allegations is that Sereno curtailed the power of the Supreme Court en banc, a collegial body, by making decisions on her own.
Complaints that Led the Impeachment Case
Aside from Sereno’s alleged dictatorship, the establishment of the Regional Court Administrator’s Office (RCAO) in Region VII is also under scrutiny. These are on top of t the issuance of a temporary restraining order in the proclamation of party-list group winners and the transfer of the Maute cases from Marawi City to Taguig City. The committee is set to vote by January 2018 – whether to accept or reject it.