MANILA - Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Thursday denied sitting on a case involving the Philippine National Bank (PNB) and 2 parcels of land in Pampanga.
In a statement, Sereno belied the claim of lawyer Eligio Mallari of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) that the case has been pending for 37 years.
"This is untrue. There have already been three decisions by the Supreme Court on these parcels of land..." the Chief Justice said.
Sereno listed down the 3 decisions released in the years 1988, 2002, and 2004.
The VACC on Tuesday said Sereno received a letter from PNB regarding the bank’s pending case against spouses Eligio and Marcelina Mallari over 2 parcels of prime commercial lots in San Fernando, Pampanga.
Thereafter the case, pending before the First Division, which is Sereno's division, “no longer moved.”
Mallari pinned the blame on Sereno for allegedly sitting on the case.
“From the time this letter was filed February 8, 2013, ang kaso hindi na gumalaw… kaya ito tumagal dahil inupuan ni Chief Justice Sereno ng SC. This case has been pending for 37 years,” he said.
The Chief Justice in reply explained that Mallari's petition was initially raffled to the First Division but "due to movements caused by retirements" was transferred back and forth from the First Division to the Third Division and back only to the First Division "in the latter part of 2017."
Sereno noted that the matter is not a sufficient basis to charge her with undue delay.
"Atty. Mallari should know very well that the Supreme Court is a collegial and deliberative body which adjudicates en banc or in division," the Chief Justice said.