SC justice: I've been chiding Sereno for 5 years

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 11 2017 04:16 PM | Updated as of Dec 11 2017 05:55 PM

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MANILA - Supreme Court Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo-De Castro on Monday said she has called out Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno for various alleged transgressions in the last 5 years -- to no avail. 

"I've been calling the attention of the Chief Justice so she would not commit the same mistake again. Pero 5 taon na po, paulit-ulit akong nagsasabi sa kanya, 'huwag mong gawain iyan, hindi mo puwedeng gawain,'" De Castro said during an impeachment hearing against Sereno. 

"Hindi pa rin siya tumitigil sa paglabag niya doon sa mga dapat sana'y ipinaaalam niya sa en banc at dinidisyunan namin sama-sama during our en banc session." 

(I've been calling out the attention of the Chief Justice so she would not commit the same mistake again . But it has been 5 years and I still keep telling her, 'don't do that, you can't do that. She has not stopped bypassing the tribunal in decisions that we should make together in our en banc session.) 

De Castro earlier testified that Sereno acted on her own in creating a regional court office in Central Visayas, a claim the chief magistrate denied.

During Monday's hearing before the House justice committee, she also claimed that Sereno took charge of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre's request for the transfer of cases against Maute gunmen without elevating it first to the court's raffle committee -- a violation of protocol. 

"Hanggang kailan kami magtitiis at hanggang kailan namin tatanggapin iyung kanyang (Sereno) ginagawa?" De Castro lamented. 

(Until when do we have to put up and accept her actions?) 

"Kung wala pong impeachment, until 2030," quipped House justice panel chairman Reynaldo Umali, drawing titters from the audience. 

Sereno, who was tapped as Chief Justice by former President Benigno Aquino III, would reach the mandatory retirement age of 70 in 2030. 

She has denied any wrongdoing and snubbed the impeachment proceedings.