December 12, 2017, 8:18 am
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Sereno to judiciary: Don’t let impeach be a distraction

CHIEF Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno yesterday appealed to members of the judiciary to focus on their work and not get distracted by the impeachment complaint filed against her.

In her speech during the 14th Metrobank Foundation Professional Chair Lecture in the Supreme Court, Sereno said members of the judiciary should not allow themselves to be sidetracked by the impeachment complaint.

“Please continue to focus on your work. Nothing should distract us. There is much to be done for this country. Continue your work undistracted professionally and excellently as you have been doing in the past,” Sereno said.

She also stressed to the members of the judiciary the importance of preserving the independence, integrity and dignity of the judiciary.

“It is most important to me that the dignity and independence of the judiciary is preserved and that has been the principle I have been observing in my conduct in all of these times,” Sereno added.

Sereno also insisted that the impeachment complaint filed by lawyer Larry Gadon has no basis.

“In various fora, I have already tried to encapsulate in very, very brief form why the charges against me, in fact, should bear no sufficient basis,” she said.

Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo De Castro has testified against Sereno before the house committee on justice while Associate Justices Francis Jardeleza, Noel Tijam and Samuel Martires, along with retired Associate Justice Arturo Brian are expected to testify in the impeachment hearings next week.

Other SC officials such as Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez and Clerk of Court Felipa Anama have also testified.

In his impeachment complaint, Gadon cited 27 acts where Sereno allegedly betrayed public trust, committed corruption, and other high crimes, particularly the untruthful declaration of her wealth in her Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN), the same ground that allies of former president Benigno Aquino III used to oust then Chief Justice Renato Corona in 2012.
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