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MANILA, Philippines – In 2012, former chief justice Renato Corona was impeached – making him the

first in the history of the Supreme Court to be removed from office in that manner.

A little over 5 years later, his successor Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno is facing the same challenge
as the House committee on justice hears an impeachment complaint filed by lawyer Larry Gadon.

What are the differences – and similarities – in these two cases thus far? This will be updated as
proceedings continue.

1. Corona complaint went directly to the impeachment court

The complaint filed by lawyer Larry Gadon against Sereno is being tackled by the House committee on
justice.

Unlike the Sereno complaint, which has so far taken two whole days of committee hearings, the complaint
against Corona went directly to the Senate which acted as the impeachment court.

According to the Rules of Impeachment, a complaint may be directly endorsed to the Senate if it has been
signed by at least 1/3 of the House. The Corona complaint had the support of 188 legislators.

The complaint against Sereno filed by Gadon, meanwhile, was endorsed by only 25 legislators.
(READ: CJ Sereno asks lawmakers to choose democracy over partisan interest)

While the House of Representatives has the number to send the complaint to the Senate, House Speaker
Pantaleon Alvarez in September 2017 said that he’d rather not take that route to avoid looking like “fools”
before the impeachment court. (READ: Alvarez doesn't want repeat of 'unfair' Corona impeachment for
Sereno)

It can be remembered that during the impeachment trial of Corona, the House prosecution was heavily
criticized for lack of preparation. After all, it was only a little over a month between the day the House
impeached Corona and the first day of the historic trial. (READ: The prosecution’s original sin)

A lawyer for Sereno, on November 22, 2017, said that they were “inclined” to have impeachment
proceedings “expedited” and brought to the Senate, adding that the rights of the Chief Magistrate “will be
protected” there.
“It is our inclination to have the proceedings before the committee expedited if they believe that the
complainant has evidence then by all means, prepare the articles of impeachment," lawyer Alexander
Poblador said.

2. Both hit by SALN issue

In the case of Sereno, the complaint filed by Gadon includes in its grounds for impeachment "numerous
acts that comprise culpable violation of the Constitution, corruption, other high crimes, and betrayal of
public trust." (LOOK: Why petitioners want Sereno impeached)

The complaint lists supposed instances of delays and falsification of resolutions and temporary restraining
orders. It also lists Sereno's alleged manipulation of the Judicial and Bar Council shortlist for vacancies in
the Sandiganbayan and Supreme Court. (READ: How Sereno answered her impeachment complaint)

But the "strongest" argument for impeachment facing Sereno is the allegation of untruthful declaration in
her Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN). She has, however, consistently denied these
accusations. (READ: Sereno impeachment: Summary of the Chief Justice's earnings, expenses)

The SALN issue is what connects the Corona and Sereno impeachment cases.

In the impeachment compliant filed by the House of Representatives, complainants cited Corona's
untruthful disclosures in his SALN. He was eventually convicted of culpable violation of the 1987
Constitution and betrayal of public trust after being found guilty by the impeachment court. He was found
to have failed to disclose US$2.4 million and P80 million in bank deposits in his SALN.
(READ: Decrowned: The fall of Renato Corona)

Other grounds for impeachment against Corona included the dubious nature of his appointment as Chief
Justice to the Supreme Court as then president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was concluding her term as
president.

The appointment of Corona was considered a "midnight appointment" – made just a month before the
Aquino administration was to begin. The complaint against Corona also included a betrayal of public trust
"through his track record marked by partiality and subservience in cases involving the Arroyo
administration."

3. Both caught the ‘ire’ of the sitting president

Both Sereno and Corona have been publicly called out by presidents.
Then president Benigno Aquino III consistently lashed out against Corona, calling his removal as key to
achieving transparency and reforms in the judiciary. (READ: PNoy to Corona: 'Huwag n'yo na kaming
paikutan’)

Corona, however, maintained that Aquino’s campaign for his removal was due to his voting for the
distribution of the 6,000-hectare Hacienda Luisita. Aquino, however, had already divested his shares in
2010. (READ: Corona found guilty, removed from office)

Sereno, meanwhile, has been asked various times by President Rodrigo Duterte to resign. The
impeachment complaint filed against her is also supported by Duterte, even after he previously said he
will not meddle with the process.

In October, he challenged both Sereno and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales to resign together with
him because of the corruption allegations they face.

A month after on November 6, Malacañang called on the Chief Magistrate to step down.

"I call upon Chief Justice Sereno to really consider resigning only to spare the institution from any further
damage," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said. – Rappler.com

MANILA, Philippines – Did Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno misdeclare her earnings in
her Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN)?

That is the "strongest" accusation against Sereno, said Misamis Occidental 2nd District Representative
Henry Oaminal in the previous impeachment hearing held last November 22. The hearing will resume on
Monday, November 27.

Sereno's predecessor, the late Renato Corona, was impeached and ousted in 2012 due to non-disclosure of
peso and dollar deposits in his SALN.

From Sereno's SALNs, and her verified answer filed before the House committee on justice, Rappler
summarized her earnings and expenses, along with what lawmakers have said.

1. Piatco earnings
Gadon first alleged that Sereno earned P37 million in fees when she was part of the legal team that
defended the government in an arbitration case against Philippine International Air Terminals Company
Incorporated (Piatco).

During the House hearing, Gadon admitted to only making a "mental calculation" of the earnings from
documents he saw at the Office of the Solicitor General.

According to Sereno, she earned P30.3 million – the peso equivalent of $745,000 at the time.

2. Taxes and purchases

Of the Piatco earnings, Sereno said she paid P8.67 million in taxes to the government, which left her with
P21.6 million. This was from 2004 to 2009.

This is how Sereno said she spent that mone

EXPENSES AND PURCHASES. Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno claims she spent
P14.7 million on various properties and investments from the P30.3 million she earned from the Piatco
case.

3. Properties and stocks

Of the items in the table above, the Filinvest house and Toyota Altis are specifically declared.

The furniture and medical expenses are lumped in with the other expenses, according to the Sereno camp.
So is the P3.6 million she said she spent in "tithes and offerings" to her Church.

The stocks and investments are also not specified. By 2016, Sereno had declared a net worth of P24.2
million, with P8.3 million of that amount as investments.

Cebu 3rd District Representative Gwen Garcia wants proof.


"We do not see receipts, we do not see documents that the amounts were in fact spent on the purchases in
her defense," Garcia said in the last hearing.

She also said there needs to be proof that Sereno only received P30 million.

4. Other earnings

Aside from Piatco, Sereno had other sources of income from 2004 to 2009. In an earlier interview, the
Chief Justice's spokesperson, lawyer Josa Deinla, said she earned another P3 million during that period.

Deinla said these were all taken into account in Sereno's SALNs.

"The rules do not require a listing of specific properties as in 'yung isa-isa gano'n (as in one by one),"
Deinla said.

Garcia also noted that there still remains P6.9 million, which Sereno said she spent on living expenses
from 2004 to 2009 or an average of P115,000 a month.

While Garcia said she does not "doubt it," she said she wants receipts.

5. UP earnings

Before the Supreme Court (SC), Sereno was a professor of the University of the Philippines (UP) College
of Law.

Gadon wanted the House committee on justice to subpoena Sereno's records and SALNs from when she
was in UP.

But Garcia said that is not necessary. "Let us not pick on whether the Chief Justice paid taxes when she
was a law professor, because at that time she was not an impeachable officer and could not have
committed an impeachable offense. Let us focus on her actions the minute she joined the Supreme Court,"
Garcia said.

6. More documents
Leyte 3rd District Representative Vicente Veloso said taxes from Sereno's purchase of a house and lot
should have had a separate entry on her SALN. During the last hearing, Veloso said the city assessor
should be subpoenaed.

Oaminal also moved to subpoena officials and documents from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to
prove that Sereno paid all the right taxes.

These prompted Ako Bicol Representative Rodel Batocabe to say that the House seems to be on a "fishing
expedition" because neither the lawmakers nor Gadon can pinpoint which of Sereno's SALNs supposedly
contain misdeclarations.

"If they were indicated in general terms, the bottomline figure is there anyway. I don't think there would
be any problem in the Chief Justice's specifications of items listed as investments. She has the documents
and I imagine that by certificates of stock, there can be no non-disclosure as to these things," lawyer Carlo
Cruz, one of Sereno's spokespersons, said in an earlier interview. – Rappler.com

MANILA, Philippines – The House committee on justice, which is hearing an impeachment


complaint against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, will be inviting even more associate justices of the
Supreme Court (SC), as well as the psychiatrist who allegedly gave Sereno "failing marks."

Citing the complaint of lawyer Larry Gadon, as well as various news reports, committee chairman
Reynaldo Umali said they would be inviting the psychiatrist who was allegedly fired or whose contract
was not renewed after Sereno was appointed chief justice in 2012.

It was this psychiatrist who evaluated Sereno as part of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) process of
screening applicants for posts to the judiciary.

According to these reports, Sereno was given a rating of 4, on a scale of 1 to 5 where 5 was the lowest. In
a press release, the House noted that two psychiatrists said Sereno projected a "happy mood" while also
showing "depressive markers." (READ: Impeachment committee question: Is Sereno still fit to hold
office?)

Umali said the House committee will also be inviting Associate Justices Mariano del Castillo and Andres
Reyes, retired associate justice Adolfo Azcuna, and Court of Appeals Associate Justice Remedios
Salazar-Fernando, among others.

The committee has been hearing Gadon's complaint since last year.
The lawyer wants Sereno out of office because she allegedly disregarded the authority of the SC en banc
by making decisions by herself and supposedly misusing public funds, among other allegations.
(READ: How Sereno answered her impeachment complaint)

During the hearing on Monday, January 15, several SC associate justices testified on the supposed
"inordinate delay" in the rewarding of benefits to retired members of the judiciary, due in part to a
reorganization which Sereno approved. (READ: Sereno impeachment: RCAO, JDO, and Midas
Marquez) – Rappler.com

MANILA, Philippines – In the weeks after he filed an impeachment complaint against Chief Justice
Maria Lourdes Sereno, complainant Larry Gadon made it a point to remind both reporters and members
of the House that although he didn’t have personal knowledge of the allegations, he had the next best
thing: the promise that those who did would testify.

It was a promise fulfilled on Monday, December 11, as 4 associate justices of the Supreme Court – 3 of
them incumbent members – testified as the House committee on justice deliberated on probable cause in
his impeachment case against Sereno.

“The performance is beyond my expectation because they even related matters which are also related to
my complaint but more than confirmed the allegations which are stated in my complaint,” Gadon told
Rappler in an interview after the 12-hour-long hearing.

If Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro’s earlier testimony gave the committee and the public a
peek into the deep divide within the High Court, the testimonies of the 3 other justices revealed a disdain
over repeated “transgressions” of the Chief Justice.

All 4 complained about Sereno’s apparent pattern of deciding on her own without properly consulting the
Supreme Court en banc, or all justices of the High Court.

Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza, whose inclusion in a short list for Supreme Court appointees Sereno
apparently tried to block, accused her of treason.

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“Kung baga sa ano, sinobrahan pa nila (They went beyond my expectations). The other matters just
came out today, that would also help in improving the case,” said Gadon, who attended the Monday
hearing but barely spoke.

Committee chairman Reynaldo Umali said he did not expect the justices’ testimonies as well.

“Other issues came out, including treason. And these issues are raised direct against the Chief Justice, on
her fitness to continue holding public office. These are matters that I think will resonate in the minds of
the members of the justice committee,” he told reporters after the hearing.

Umali said that other allegations that are not in the complaint but raised in the hearings should also be
answered by Sereno.

“The impeachment committee is here, in fact, to exact public accountability. If these are accountable acts
for which the chief justice should be made to answer, then we are not precluded from answering any and
all charges that have a bearing on her fitness to hold public office,” he said.

Thus far, the committee has fleshed out several allegations against Sereno, including her mistakes in the
issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) over party-list group proclamations, the establishment of
the Regional Court Administrative Office (RCAO) in Region 7, the Jardeleza case, the delay in the
benefits of retired judges and justices, and "clustering" in the Judicial and Bar Council, among others.

Of these, Umali said, the TRO, RCAO, and delayed benefits issues have been the most discussed so far.
There are several other allegations, including her alleged misuse of funds in the purchase of a luxury car
and supposed failure to be truthful in declaring her assets, that have yet to be fleshed out.

And while it takes only one complaint for an impeachable official to be convicted by the Senate, Gadon
wants it all. “I want more. Because I want to prove those who are doubting my complaints. I want to
prove to them that I have all ammunition versus Sereno,” he said.

Sereno’s team of spokespersons dismissed the justices’ testimonies as “pure hugot” and petty, but Umali
said the issue is ultimately about Sereno’s fitness to lead the judiciary.

“If we are looking at fitness to continue holding public office, you know this has something to do with
management. When you say you are a good manager, you must do things right. This has something to do
also with leadership,” he said.
Several lawmakers attempted to ask justices directly if the allegations against Sereno were culpable
violations of the Constitution and therefore, an impeachable offense.

All of them declined to give an answer.

The committee will resume deliberations on probable cause in 2018, when session resumes. Congress is
set to adjourn on December 15 yet but it will have to discuss several important issues before it goes on
break, including President Rodrigo Duterte’s plan to extend martial law in Mindanao.

Umali earlier said he hopes to put the complaint to a vote by January 2018, at the latest. The comittee will
then come up with a report, on whether to junk the complaint or impeach Sereno.

A one-third vote of the House in favor of the complaint is all it will take for Sereno to be impeached.

She will then be tried by the Senate, sitting as an impeachment court. – Rappler.com

MANILA, Philippines – In the weeks after he filed an impeachment complaint against Chief Justice
Maria Lourdes Sereno, complainant Larry Gadon made it a point to remind both reporters and members
of the House that although he didn’t have personal knowledge of the allegations, he had the next best
thing: the promise that those who did would testify.

It was a promise fulfilled on Monday, December 11, as 4 associate justices of the Supreme Court – 3 of
them incumbent members – testified as the House committee on justice deliberated on probable cause in
his impeachment case against Sereno.

“The performance is beyond my expectation because they even related matters which are also related to
my complaint but more than confirmed the allegations which are stated in my complaint,” Gadon told
Rappler in an interview after the 12-hour-long hearing.

If Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro’s earlier testimony gave the committee and the public a
peek into the deep divide within the High Court, the testimonies of the 3 other justices revealed a disdain
over repeated “transgressions” of the Chief Justice.

All 4 complained about Sereno’s apparent pattern of deciding on her own without properly consulting the
Supreme Court en banc, or all justices of the High Court.
Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza, whose inclusion in a short list for Supreme Court appointees Sereno
apparently tried to block, accused her of treason.

An error occurred.
Try watching this video on www.youtube.com, or enable JavaScript if it is disabled in your
browser.
“Kung baga sa ano, sinobrahan pa nila (They went beyond my expectations). The other matters just
came out today, that would also help in improving the case,” said Gadon, who attended the Monday
hearing but barely spoke.

Committee chairman Reynaldo Umali said he did not expect the justices’ testimonies as well.

“Other issues came out, including treason. And these issues are raised direct against the Chief Justice, on
her fitness to continue holding public office. These are matters that I think will resonate in the minds of
the members of the justice committee,” he told reporters after the hearing.

Umali said that other allegations that are not in the complaint but raised in the hearings should also be
answered by Sereno.

“The impeachment committee is here, in fact, to exact public accountability. If these are accountable acts
for which the chief justice should be made to answer, then we are not precluded from answering any and
all charges that have a bearing on her fitness to hold public office,” he said.

Thus far, the committee has fleshed out several allegations against Sereno, including her mistakes in the
issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) over party-list group proclamations, the establishment of
the Regional Court Administrative Office (RCAO) in Region 7, the Jardeleza case, the delay in the
benefits of retired judges and justices, and "clustering" in the Judicial and Bar Council, among others.

Of these, Umali said, the TRO, RCAO, and delayed benefits issues have been the most discussed so far.
There are several other allegations, including her alleged misuse of funds in the purchase of a luxury car
and supposed failure to be truthful in declaring her assets, that have yet to be fleshed out.

And while it takes only one complaint for an impeachable official to be convicted by the Senate, Gadon
wants it all. “I want more. Because I want to prove those who are doubting my complaints. I want to
prove to them that I have all ammunition versus Sereno,” he said.
Sereno’s team of spokespersons dismissed the justices’ testimonies as “pure hugot” and petty, but Umali
said the issue is ultimately about Sereno’s fitness to lead the judiciary.

“If we are looking at fitness to continue holding public office, you know this has something to do with
management. When you say you are a good manager, you must do things right. This has something to do
also with leadership,” he said.

Several lawmakers attempted to ask justices directly if the allegations against Sereno were culpable
violations of the Constitution and therefore, an impeachable offense.

All of them declined to give an answer.

The committee will resume deliberations on probable cause in 2018, when session resumes. Congress is
set to adjourn on December 15 yet but it will have to discuss several important issues before it goes on
break, including President Rodrigo Duterte’s plan to extend martial law in Mindanao.

Umali earlier said he hopes to put the complaint to a vote by January 2018, at the latest. The comittee will
then come up with a report, on whether to junk the complaint or impeach Sereno.

A one-third vote of the House in favor of the complaint is all it will take for Sereno to be impeached.

She will then be tried by the Senate, sitting as an impeachment court. – Rappler.com