MANILA - Supreme Court Associate Justice Teresita De Castro on Wednesday told the House justice panel that an administrative order by Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno did not conform to the en banc decision of the high court.
De Castro said the en banc had adopted in 2006 two measures seeking to create a pilot Regional Court Administration Office in its decentralization efforts, but these were not reflected in an order released by Sereno in 2012.
"Both of these documents are en banc resolutions, which according to the Chief Justice she would like to implement, but when I compared the administrative order issued by the Chief Justice, it did not conform to the provisions of this administrative matter adopted by the court en banc," she told lawmakers in the hearing of the House justice committee.
De Castro said she started investigating the matter after she and the other associate justices received an invitation from Sereno's office to attend the reopening of RCAO in Central Visayas on November 29, 2012.
"I was taken aback because we are invited only to a launching of the Regional Court Administration Office in Region 7, and we were not at all consulted and made to participate in this decision to reopen the Regional Court Administration Office," she said.
She found then that Sereno had issued Administrative Order No. 175-2012, "designating the head for Judiciary Decentralization Office in the seventh judicial region."
"Even the heading of this administrative order shows that this is not meant to implement the RCAO as approved by the court en banc unanimously," she said.
Lawyer Lorenzo Gadon, in his impeachment complaint, also accused Sereno of culpable violation of the Constitution when she falsified Supreme Court resolutions, including one which revived RCAO-7.