Impeach-CJ proponents to consolidate evidence
THE people who filed the dismissed impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno plan to merge their documentary evidence with those of lawyer Lorenzo Gadon whose case against Sereno has progressed.
They said their evidence could reinforce Gadon’s complaint against Sereno even as the House of Representatives is still to determine whether there is probable cause to impeach her.
Gadon on Wednesday slammed Sereno for blaming her fellow Supreme Court magistrates for the delayed release of the survivorship benefits of 94-year-old Dolores Colayco, widow of a Court Appeals justice who died recently without receiving her pension.
Gadon accused Sereno of lying when her camp claimed that the delay in the release of Colayco’s pension could be attributed to a collegial action of the justices.
“Sereno is in effect blaming the justices of the Supreme Court by saying that the release of survivorship benefits was only approved a few days ago,” Gadon said in a statement.
“This lie and the passing-the-blame stunt of the Office of the Chief Justice on the issue of delays of the release of survivorship benefits has become infuriating and disgusting.”
Gadon contested the claim of Sereno’s spokesman, lawyer Jojo Lacanilao, that she “did not delay action on the resolution of survivorship petitions filed by Colayco and all other surviving spouses of deceased justices and judges.”
Lawyer Manuelito Luna, counsel for the complainants Dante Jimenez and Eligio Mallari, on Wednesday went to the office of the House Secretary General to retrieve the documents they used for their impeachment complaint against Sereno.
Jimenez and Mallari had filed their own impeachment complaint against Sereno but it was dismissed for insufficiency in form due to a deficient verification.
Luna said the documents they were trying to retrieve from the Secretary General’s office contained internal discussions and deliberations of the Supreme Court.
“Ito yung mga internal documents ng mga discussions and deliberations ng Korte Suprema and ito ay sa tingin namin ay pivotal dito sa kaso laban sa kanya na sa tingin namin ay eventually, aabot sa Senate impeachment court,” Luna said.
“Kasi kami ay naniniwala na malakas ang Gadon petition at maraming sumusuporta sa ating mga kababayan dito sa move na ito. So we will be turning over the documents once I will be able to retrieve them.”
The House justice panel is set to hold a meeting to determine whether there is probable cause to impeach Sereno in November after the Congress’ session break based on Gadon’s complaint.