The House Justice Committee has asked Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to respond to the impeachment complaint filed against her by lawyer Lorenzo Gadon.
In a letter dated September 14 and received by Sereno’s office, House Justice Committee Chair Rey Umali transmitted a copy of the complaint to Sereno and gave her 10 days from receipt to file a response. Sereno is also asked to serve a copy of her answer to the complainants by personal service. No motion to dismiss shall be allowed within the period to answer the complaint. Umali told a press conference, “Kanina po alas-onse pasado ay nai-serve na po natin kay o sa opisina ni CJ Sereno iyong ating notice to answer within 10 days, after that assuming na maisa-submit iyan and we are looking at September 25. Puwede pong magreply iyong complainant within 3 days and then a rejoinder within another 3 calendar days lang po ito. So pagkatapos po niyan ijo-join na po natin iyong issues and once joined we will now proceed with the investigation towards determination of probable cause whether or not to impeach her, CJ Sereno. Pagkatapos po nun ay tuloy-tuloy na po iyon kung ang boto ay may probable cause, gagawin na po namin iyong articles of impeachment at kasama na po iyon sa pagbobotohan namin sa plenaryo patungo sa pagsasampa niyan sa Senado.”
Gadon’s impeachmen complaint was referred to the Justice Committee on September 7 and declared sufficient in form and substance on September 13.
The Justice Committee exercises jursidiction on all impeachment complaints filed against the House. it has 60 session days to dispose of any impeachment complaint.
Gadon’s complaint wants Sereno impeached for culpable violation of the constitution, betrayal of public trust, corruption and other high crimes for alleged misdeclarations in her statements of assets, liabilities and net worth, misuse of Court funds and abuse of her power as chief justice.