Lanao del Sur 2nd District Rep. Mauyag Jun Papandayan Jr  and 15 other lawmakers has endorsed the impeachment complaint filed by the Volunteers against Crime and Corruption and Vanguard against Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

The 16 endorsers are Papandaya, Eric Pineda,  Virgilio Lacson, Benhur Lopez, Arnolfo Teves, Jerry Trenas,  Ben Evardone, Rogelio Espina, Arthur Defensor Jr,  Ferjenel Biron, Joseph Stephen aduano,  Raul Tupas, Benhur Salambangon, Carlito Marquez, Fredenil Castro and Sharon GArin

This is the 2nd complaint to be endorsed against Sereno, after the complaint of lawyer Lorenzo Gadon was endorsed by 25 congressmen last week. The VACC Complaint, while  filed ahead of the Gadon complaint, was not endorsed before the Gadon complaint.

Congressional endorsement is a key requirement for the valid initiation of an impeachment complaint.

VACC Chairman Dante Jimenez accompanied Papandayan when he endorsed the complaint before Secretary-General Cesar Pareja. “andito po  ang VACC at ang vanguard of the Philippine constitution. kami po yung naghain ng impeachment case against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno noong August 15, 2017. Our brother  muslim congressman Jun Papandayan of the 2nd district of lanao del sur is the first one to sign the endorsement. we thank him for having this courage to sign the first endorsement. there will be more to come. “

Papandayan said, “nendorso po namin yung petisyon di lang ako marami kami naniniwala kami sa ebidensiya na sinabi sa amin ni atty  mallari at ni jimenez na dapat nang alisin si sereno dahil sa mga katiwalian na kaniyang ginagawa. naniniwala po kami na itoy magpoprosper. marami kami nagsasign andoon sila sa loob pumipirma na yung iba.”

Manuelito Luna, a lawyer for VACC explained that the complaint covers the grounds of culpable violation of the constitution and betrayal of public trust. This stems from Sereno’s actions without the consent of the SC en banc.

“gaya ng sinabi po namin mga violations culpable violations and betrayal of public trust  ng ating chief justice sereno ay nakasaad po sa ating august 15 complaint ito po yung substitute complaint na sinasabi namin.

ang mga violation which constitute impeachable offenses ay mga ito yung pagcreate ng RCAO  at Judiciary decentralized office ni chief justice na siya lang po ang gumawa cintrary to the consensus of the justice of the supreme court crineate niya yun at nireveive ang supreme court po is an institution it is a collegial body it is not the office of the chief jutsice. yun ang pinakamabigat na kasalanan.  kasama din po yung kaniyang aksyon that contradict countermand or constitute a pattern disregard of the authority of the court  en banc marami siyang desisyon na hindi dinaan  at isinasangguni sa court en banc isa na yan yung appointments sa judiciary for example yung head ng Philippine mediation center siya lang po ang nagdecide noon. ni walang recommendation from the Philja Philipine Judicial Academy. the Chief Justice is acting as if she is the court . this is an unconstitutional act. marami pang iba na nakasaad sa complaint.”

The Gadon complaint also delved into Sereno’s actions without the consent of the Court considering appointments and the reorganization of offices in the judiciary though media focus has been on Sereno’s SALN’s, which Gadon claimed were not truthful like the case of impeached Chief Justice Renato Corona. Luna differentiated their complaint from the Gadon complaint. “malaki ang kaibahan kasi yung gadon complaint centers on the saln saka mga expenditures of the chief justice sa amin namin is arrogation usurpation ng poder ng korte suprema as well as other matters na dapat ang court en banc ang nagdedecide. ginagawang one man court ni chief justice sereno ang supreme court.”

Secretary General Cesar Pareja says this will be transmitted to the Office of Speaker Alvarez just like the Gadon complaint tonight. Pareja says the Committee on Justice, which will have jurisdiction over the complaints, can decide which one to tackle or if both will be tackled and consolidated.

Pareja says there can no onger be a creeping impeachment since jurisprudence has it that they for an impeachment complaint must already have the endorsement of 1/3 of congressmen upon filing for it to skip proceedings at the House and be sent to the Senate for trial. “it will be upto the COJ whether it wil be consolidated…or just one only… additional endorsements are no longer allowed. there was a ruling of the SC they no longer allow creeping endorsement..”

Majority Leader Rodolfo Farinas sustained the statement of the secretary general. “The Sec Gen is right. On the question of whether or not they will be referred simultaneously to the Justice Committee, let us report the news as it happens. Thanks!”