Lawyer eyes impeach rap vs Sereno over 'expensive' bullet-proof SUV

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 31 2017 04:25 PM | Updated as of Aug 31 2017 11:25 AM

MANILA - A lawyer is set to file an impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno due to an alleged purchase by the Supreme Court of a luxury sport-utility vehicle (SUV) worth P5.1 million. 

Atty. Larry Gadon said government funds were used not only in the purchase of the Toyota Land Cruiser but also in the bullet-proofing of the vehicle, which he said was worth around P3.1 million.

"Ang nakalagay lamang sa kanyang resolution ay 'befitting the position of a chief justice,'" he said Monday. He claimed that Sereno's predecessors did not buy luxury SUVs using public funds.

Asked for comment, SC spokesman Theodore Te said: "There will be an appropriate time for comments on things like those. This is not that time."

"Of course media will be informed when it is the appropriate time. Thanks," he added. 

In his interview with radio DZMM, Gadon said the procurement qualifies for betrayal of public trust, saying it is not proper for a public official to spend government funds on luxury vehicles, while poverty remains a national concern.

"Siya ay entitled bumili ng sasakyan. Ang issue lang dito bakit naman napaka-expensive at napaka-luxurious ng kanyang binili. Meron namang ibang modelo ng mga kotse," he said.

The lawyer also questioned why the Chief Justice has not acted on applications for benefits of surviving family members of deceased justices.

"Maraming survivorship benefits ang naka-pending sa kanya, hindi niya inaaksiyunan. Hindi nga malaman ang kanyang katwiran," he said. 

Gadon said he is just finishing his case build-up for the impeachment complaint against Sereno. He plans to file it before the House of Representatives this week. -- With a report from Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News