MANILA, Aug. 2 — The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) and the Vanguard of the Philippine Constitution on Tuesday filed an impeachment complaint against Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno before the Office of the Secretary General at the House of Representatives.
VACC President Dante Jimenez led the filing of the impeachment bid against Sereno on the grounds of culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust.
However, the impeachment complaint has no endorsement from any House member.
A complaint filed by any citizen should get the endorsement of a sitting congressman before being referred to the House committee on justice for hearing.
Jimenez noted in the complaint that Sereno culpably violated the Constitution for the following reasons:
– issuing an administrative order creating the new Judiciary Decentralized Office (JDO) and re-opening the Regional Administration Office (RCAO) in Western Visayas in the absence of an authority from the Court en banc;
– violating the constitutional provision that appointive government officials shall not hold another public post unless provided for by law, in appointing Atty. Solomon Lumba as her staff head. Lumba was a faculty member of the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Law when he was appointed as Chief Justice staff head;
– appointing Atty. Brenda Jay Mendoza as Philippine Mediation Center Office Chief by mere memorandum which was not referred to the court en banc for its consideration;
– granting to members of her staff travel allowances for foreign travel charged to the Supreme Court funds without court en banc approval.
Sereno also betrayed public trust through “inexcusable negligence”, for sitting on the applications for the vacant posts in the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, lawyer Larry Gadon is also set to file an impeachment complaint against Sereno on Wednesday afternoon.
Chief Justice Sereno has not immediately responded to the impeachment charge against her.
Supreme Court spokesman Theodore Te said Sereno would address the allegation in the complaints at the appropriate time and venue.
”There will be an appropriate time for comments on things like those. This is not that time,” Te said in a text message.