Congress Committee on justice approves articles of impeachment against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

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DAVAO CTIY, Philippines –— With 33 affirmative votes, one negative vote, the House Committee on Justice Monday approved a resolution pushing for the  impeachment of  Supreme Court Chief Justice Mario Lourdes Senero.

Congressman Reynaldo Umali, chairperson of the Committee cited six reasons why Serneo must be impeached.

The six articles of impeachment are as follows:

  • Non-filing and non-disclosure of her sworn statement of assets and liabilities and net worth (SALN), constituting the impeachable offense of culpable violation of the Constitution and/or betrayal of public trust;

  • Committing corruption and betrayal of public trust when she misused a total amount of ₱18 million of public funds thereby manifesting her grandiose sense of self-importance;

  • Committing culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of public trust and/or other high crimes when she arrogated unto herself the powers reposed upon the Supreme Court as a collegial, deliberative and consultative body;

  • Committed culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of public trust and/or other high crimes when she deliberately and maliciously abused her position as the Chief Justice and ex officio Chairperson of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC);

  • Committed culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust when she deliberately undermined and violated the principles of separation of powers among the three branches of government; and

  • Committed betrayal of public trust when she willfully and deliberately failed to comply with her oath of office by tyrannical abuse of discretionary power.

Of the 34 Committee members, only Rep. Jose Christopher Belmonte voted against the resolution.

The Umali Committee earlier conducted a hearing after lawyer Loreanzo Gadon, filed an impeachment complaint against Sereno.

The Committee  found probable cause to impeach Sereno, who is being accused of culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of public trust, corruption, and other high crimes.

The articles of impeachment and committee report will be transmitted to the House committee on rules.

It will be the Committee on Rules which  will   schedule  for plenary discussions within 10 session days upon receipt of the resolution.

The House plenary is set to tackle the articles of impeachment within 60 session days from its submission by the justice committee.

Should the committee report and articles of impeachment garner  one-third votes from the 297 members or 99 votes, the resolution will then be transmitted to the Senate.

The members of the Senate will then act as the impeachment court.-Editha Z. Caduaya/Newsline.ph

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