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Sereno accuser sees 90 solons backing impeachment complaint

Speaking before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines’ (IBP) 16th National Convention of Lawyers at the Marriott Hotel, Sereno reminded the lawyers present to bear in mind their role and not allow impunity to succeed. SC PIO

MANILA, Philippines — Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption lawyer Lorenzo Gadon on Sunday said that his impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno could get as many as 90 endorsements at the House of Representatives.

In a radio interview on dzBB, Gadon denied reports that his impeachment complaint has no endorses,  claiming lawmakers only want him to verify the attachments to the complaint he plans to bring to the House.

“Actually nung nag-uusap kami, they may be able to garner more than 90 signature votes, tapos endorsement pa lang,” Gadon, a senatorial candidate in the 2016 elections, said.

“Ipinadi-diretso na nila ako. Ipinace-certify na nila ito to the Senate for impeachment hearing. Ganun ang mangyayari,” he added.

Gadon has yet to file the impeachment complaint against Sereno. He plans to file the complaint against the chief justice for her allegedly “unreasonable and whimsical” procurement of a Toyota Land Cruiser.

The accuser alleged it is the first time in history that a chief justice bought a luxury car worth between P3 million to P5 million.

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“Hindi niya pera 'yun, pera 'yun ng Judicial Development Fund,” Gadon said.

“Bukod sa sasakyan, nagpabili pa siya (Sereno) ng tatlong motorsiklo na malalaki na aabot ng P800,000 ang isa para escort niya. Mayroon siyang 30 security na ginagamit ang pondo ng Supreme Court at labis-labis 'yun,” he further alleged.

'Many believe complaint has grounds'

Gadon maintained that several lawmakers believe his claims against the chief justice.

“Marami ang naniniwala sa aking grounds ng complaint at nakita nila at napag-alaman na si Sereno ay masyadong abuso,” the lawyer said.

Previously, Gadon was advised by House Majority leader Rodolfo  Fariñas to verify attachments in his impeachment complaint against Sereno. He confirmed this saying he was told to submit request of documents to the Supreme Court.

Gadon said he requested for certified true copy of 22 kinds of documents that he said is evidence against Sereno. He said this includes her Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth, as well as  documents pertaining to her purchase of bullet-proofed vehicles and travel allowances, among others.

“Kapag hindi nila ito ibinigay, i-eendorse na lang ng mga kongresista 'yung aking complaint. Justice Committee na lang 'yung magpapa-subpoena ng mga documents na 'yan,” Gadon said referring to Fariñas’ advice.

On August 2, Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption founder and president Dante Jimenez and Vanguard of the Philippine Constitution president Eligio Mallari also filed an impeachment complaint against the chief justice without indicating any endorsement from a member of the House of Representatives.

The chief justice is among the impeachable officials under the 1987 Constitution. Members of the House may file verified complaints or endorse one filed by a citizen.

A committee will deliberate on the complaint and submit its report to the House in plenary within 60 session days of the complaint being referred to the panel. If a third — or 98 — of the 294 members of the House vote in favor of the complaint, the official is impeached and the Senate will try the case as an impeachment court.

If a third of the members file the complaint themselves, the complaint will automatically constitute the Articles of Impeachment. 

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