Alvarez to Sereno: Enjoy leave, relax, see a doctor

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 28 2018 06:04 PM | Updated as of Oct 18 2018 03:35 PM

MANILA - Enjoy, relax, and see a doctor. 

This was House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez's advice to Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, who will be taking an indefinite leave as she faced impeachment proceedings. 

"Well mag-enjoy siya ng leave, mamasyal, mag-beach, mag-relax. Pa-check up, executive check-up," said Alvarez, a staunch ally of President Rodrigo Duterte, who has earlier hit Sereno. 

Alvarez also urged Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, whom he claims to be "excited" to start the impeachment trial, to relax ahead of the possible proceedings at the Senate. 

The Chief Justice earlier said she would go on indefinite leave to prepare for her possible trial. But High Court justices told House justice committee chair Rey Umali she was forced to go on leave.

She has said the "probability is quite high" that the House panel deliberating on the impeachment complaint against her would put her to trial. 

The House justice committee on Tuesday night wrapped up hearings on the impeachment complaint against Sereno. 

The complaint, filed by lawyer Lorenzo Gadon, accused Sereno of misdeclaring her wealth in her Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth and having an extravagant lifestyle, among others. 

A clinical psychologist who made a follow-up on Sereno's psychiatric tests when she applied for her current position said the Chief Justice has 5 of 9 signs of "mental disturbance." 

Dr. Geraldine Tria enumerated them as the following: "grandiosity, sense of unlimited power, sense of entitlement, exploitative to take advantage of others, and lack of empathy and sensitiveness." 

But the camp of Sereno said that these psychological findings were not a ground for impeachment. 

"Hindi naman 'yan passed, failed. 'Yun ay tumutulong lang para sa [Judicial and Bar Council] to see the psychological profile [of an applicant]," said Sereno lawyer Jojo Lacanilao.