SC justice urges filing of raps vs those who slept on survivorship claims

Patrick Quintos, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 15 2018 01:43 PM | Updated as of Jan 15 2018 01:59 PM

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MANILA - Families affected by the delayed survivorship benefits in the judiciary should file administrative cases against the persons who sat on their claims, according to a Supreme Court justice.

Associate Justice Samuel Martires, who wrote the en banc decision that included spouses of deceased judges and justices as beneficiaries of the the survivorship law, said this would help in weeding out incompetent employees in the judiciary. 

"Pag nalaman nila kung sino ang involved na tao, file the necessary administrative cases so that the Supreme Court could also weed out incompetent employees under the judiciary," he said as the House justice committee resumed the hearing on the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Monday.

Martires stressed that he acted promptly upon receiving the case. But he declined to comment on who caused the delay, as he has no personal knowledge on the matter. 

Sereno was accused by lawyer Larry Gadon as the cause of the delay as she allegedly created the "Special Committee on Retirement and Civil Service Benefits" and the technical working group where the survivorship claims got stuck for about 2 years.

Asked about this, Martires said: "I was only appointed to the Supreme Court March of 2017. Anything that happened prior to that I don't know. There is also nothing in the records about how the special committee or the technical working group was created."

For his part, Court Administrator Midas Marquez acknowledge the prompt action of the Supreme Court en banc on the issue and pointed out a technical working group as the cause of the delay.

Marquez said the special committee was created by Sereno, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco. The committee recommended creation of a technical working group which was then approved by the Chief Justice.

In her verified response, Sereno already denied that she caused the delay on the survivorship claims saying the Chief Justice has no power to decide on these as all decisions are made by the court en banc.