Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno shrugged off impeachment threats, saying these complaints doesn’t affect her because of her ‘clean conscience’.
“Alam mo, ‘yan ang masarap sa malinis na konsensya, it does not affect me at all [You know, that’s the things about having a clean conscience],” Sereno said on Thursday during the town hall meeting Ulat sa Hudikatura in Cebu.
Sereno added that she has not done anything wrong and illegal serving as the chief justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines.
“The work is there. It is enormous. Just imagine if I take an inordinate amount of time and being exasperated by those documents, work will not be done. So, just give it the right attention so that you understand when the appropriate time comes you are ready, but you should not be fazed because I have done nothing wrong,” the chief justice said.
Sereno added she has fulfilled her mandate “with all faith and diligence”, citing that there would be no evidence that would attest she has betrayed her oath of office.
“I have done nothing wrong. Nothing can be proven against me that will show that the Chief Justice has betrayed her oath of office. I have served the country with all faith and diligence. I will never waver from that pledge,” she added.
Sereno also said her records of travels, expenses, and procurements are all well-documented.
“I have always lived a life of modesty. I have been prudent in the use of the Court’s resources. All the expenses for judicial reform, my travels, my security and vehicle requirements are all regular and aboveboard. Public documents; the record will speak for itself. And I have not objected to the public release of the same,” Sereno added.
In August, the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption and the Vanguard of the Philippine Constitution Inc (VPCI) filed an impeachment complaint against Sereno, accusing the latter of betrayal of public trust, and culpable violation of the Constitution after granting to her staff members travel allowances for foreign travel charged to the Supreme Court funds without the approval of the Court en banc’s.
Sereno betrayed public trust though negligence for taking matters on her own hands on the applications for the positions of SC deputy clerk of court and chief attorney which have been vacant for three years and eight months, and the two posts for assistant court administrator which have been unoccupied for four years and six months, the group added.
Atty. Larry Gadon also indicted Sereno with an extravagant lifestyle when she allegedly procured a Toyota Land Cruiser costing P5.1 million using public funds.
Gadon added Sereno wanted a luxury vehicle on top of her “coterie of security personnel riding in separate vehicles and traffic escorts two motorcycles,” which was also purchased supposedly “using Supreme Court funds.”
He also said Sereno also used taxpayers’ money in lavish accommodations when attending domestic or foreign conferences, and riding on business or first class flights with her staff and security personnel.
On the other hand, Duterte on Tuesday evening slammed a government official who allegedly had lavish foreign tours. The president declined to drop the name of the public servant but he said the official is not from the executive branch.
“There is one official here in government, we looked into the travel, not from my department, not the executive department,” Duterte said.
Sereno remarked that she is not affected by the president’s latest statements against an unnamed official he condemned for living an excessive lifestyle.
“That’s his revelation. I don’t know who he’s talking of, definitely I don’t feel alluded to,” Sereno said.