Palace leaves Sereno impeach case to Congress

MANILA Malacanang is letting the constitutional process proceed as the House of Representatives justice panel approved the draft articles of impeachment against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said Monday.

We'll leave the matter of impeachment of CJ Sereno wholly to Congress because that is the constitutional function of the House of Representatives, Roque said in a press briefing in Camarines Sur.

So we will allow the constitutional process to proceed, he added.

With an overwhelming 33-1 vote, the House justice committee on Monday approved six articles of impeachment against Sereno.

Once approved at the plenary, then the articles of impeachment will be submitted to the Senate and the Senate will have to organize itself as an impeachment court, Roque, a former party-list representative, said.

According to media reports, the six articles of impeachment include:

* Non-filing or non-disclosure of Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SLAN);

* For purchase of a Land Cruiser "which is beyond the norm of SC," hiring of services of IT consultant Helen Macaset and choosing Shangri-La Boracay for the 3rd ASEAN Chief Justices' meeting;

* When she arrogated upon herself the powers reposed upon the SC as a collegial, deliberative and consultative body when she issued resolutions without or contrary to the SC's en banc;

* When she deliberately and maliciously abused her position as SC and ex-officio chairman of the JBC.

* When she deliberately undermined and violated the rules of the separation of powers among the three branches of government;

* When she willfully and deliberately failed to comply with her oath of office by tyrannical abuse of discretionary power.

Roque had earlier advised Sereno to consider the growing clamor from her colleagues and groups of judges and court employees for her to resign.

Source: Philippine News Agency

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