MANILA – Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno said impeachment proceedings are meant to make government officials accountable and should not be used for vengeance.
"I hope everybody involved rises to the requirements of the Constitution that this should not be done for personal vengeance or personal agenda but this should only be a mechanism for accountability and to preserve the democratic institutions, not destroy the democratic institutions," she told ANC's Headstart in an interview aired Monday.
Sereno said this in response to the question whether she believed Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez had a hand in the impeachment complaint as a way of getting back at her over the case involving Philippine International Air Terminals Co. Inc. (Piatco), builder of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3.
Alvarez had denied that he was out for revenge and it was only coincidence that he was the Speaker when the impeachment was filed.
Sereno said she once testified "against the onerous terms of the contract that was signed between the government and the PairCargo team," and Alvarez, a former senior assistant general manager of the Manila International Airport Authority, was part of the committee that approved these terms of reference.
She added, one the cases filed against Alvarez, was for "conflict of interest" when the company his wife owned became the subcontractor for the construction of that contract.
"So while the testimony I gave in the Sandiganbayan assails that contract, the overall participation that I had touched also in the participation of Alvarez," she said.
Sereno, who is now facing impeachment proceedings in the chamber Alvarez heads, said she will have to listen to her lawyers if this matter will be brought up in their defense.