Marquez: Sereno's staff flew in business class

Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 16 2018 12:05 AM

Court Administrator Midas Marquez on Monday night said the staff of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno flew in business class accommodation despite a Supreme Court rule against excessive spending of taxpayers' money.

He made the statement when he was asked by Pampanga 3rd District Rep. Aurelio Gonzales Jr. to confirm rumors that Sereno's staff, including her bodyguard, traveled on business class.

Marquez recalled an experience he had with Sereno and her staff when they went to Cebu.

"Pabalik, sabay-sabay kami ni CJ at staff niya at security. Nandun po ako sa economy. 'Yung mga staff at security iba, nandun po sila sa business class," he said.

Though he was entitled to flew in business class, Marquez said he opted to take coach instead.

Asked how big Sereno’s delegation was, Marquez said they were about seven or eight, composed of lawyers and security personnel.

However, Marquez could not say if the Supreme Court paid for the travel expenses of Sereno’s staff.

“Maaaring Supreme Court. Di naman funded by other agencies,” he said.

According to Marquez, under Supreme Court rules, only chief justices, justices, and court administrators are allowed to travel on business class.

The House Committee on Justice has invited the Chief Justice's head of security to shed light on the matter.

Aside from Sereno’s travels, the Committee also looked into her purchase of a luxury SUV. 

Sereno has yet to issue a statement in reply to Marquez's allegations.