At Supreme Court hearing: Sereno unhinged

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RIGOBERTO D. TIGLAO

RIGOBERTO D. TIGLAO

CHIEF Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno demonstrated before the entire country how much of an imbecile she is, as well as her incredible arrogance, at Tuesday’s Supreme Court hearing on the case against her.

Solicitor General Jose Calida had alleged that she was ineligible to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court, much less to head it, for, among other reasons, failing to file for seven years a statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth (SALN), as required by law.

Going by her behavior at the so-called quo warranto hearing, this lady, who has never seen the inside of a courtroom, wouldn’t even qualify to be a municipal court judge, or be hired as anyone’s trial attorney.

Her behavior bolsters my view that the appointment of such an unqualified but egoistic person to the Supreme Court is one of former president Aquino 3rd’s biggest crimes against the country, as it severely damaged the main institution of our justice system.


The Solicitor General claimed that she had not filed her SALNs for seven years (1999 to 2006, except for 2002) with the required government agencies, as required by law.

The University of the Philippines where she had been an instructor during those years, the Office of the Ombudsman to which she was required to submit the reports every year, and the Judicial Bar Council to which she should have submitted copies of these when she was nominated as associate justice in 2010 and chief justice in 2012 all had issued certifications that Sereno did not submit her SALNS or copies of these for those seven years to them.

How did Sereno reply when Justice de Castro asked her why she didn’t file her SALNs?

In so many words, she declared: “But I’m not the only one in the court not to have filed SALNs.” Her response didn’t just have a false assumption, it was plain stupid: It was she who was under investigation, not the other justices.

She assumed the justices were so stupid in her various explanations.

The Chief Justice at the time of her appointment, the late Renato Corona, didn’t call her attention to her omission, she claimed. The deadline for submitting requirements to the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) when she was nominated to the Supreme Court was too tight because of a holiday that she couldn’t submit her SALNs, she said. The JBC didn’t call her attention that she hadn’t filed the SALNs as required by law. It wasn’t her fault that the UP didn’t have copies of her SALN, she said. She changed residences so often that she lost copies of her SALN, she said.

And I nearly fell out of my chair when I heard one of her explanations as why she didn’t have copies of her SALN. She’s not the type to be meticulous in filing her documents, she said.

Not only her batty excuses but her behavior at the hearing showed that this lady should be kicked out of the Supreme Court as soon as possible.

She interrupted in mid-sentence the justices asking her the questions. She interjected with irrelevant points like when she said that the SALN requirement had exceptions. Indeed, there are exceptions, but these are for those serving in an honorary capacity, laborers, and casual workers. She wasn’t any one of these, why did she have to interrupt the questioner?

I am pleading to people who support her, especially women’s organizations: please listen to the audio file of that hearing, posted at youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQfbdTrf7pk–your hair will stand on end when you realize that Sereno, in her performance in that hearing, is as unqualified as much as she is dishonest to be a justice in our highest court.

One of Sereno’s arguments confirms for me that this lady is either demented, or presumes the justices are so stupid. She claimed at one point: “Under the Doblada doctrine, I maintain that I consistently filed my SALNs as required by law.”

I checked and there is no such thing as the “Doblada doctrine.” Sereno was referring to a case involving Pasig City court sheriff Norberto Doblada who was sued by a “concerned taxpayer” not for failure to file his SALN for several years but for unexplained wealth as his properties were out of proportion to his salary.

Only in passing did the Supreme Court in an administrative matter ruling (A.M. No. P-99-1342. June 8, 2005) note that the Office of the Court Administrator’s (OCA) report that it didn’t have copies of Doblada’s SALNs for several years didn’t necessarily mean that he failed to file these.

What gave credence to Doblada’s claim was his letter to the clerk of court in 2001 to which he attached his SALN for the year 2000. Since the report for that year was one of those that the OCA didn’t have a copy of, it became a probability that the OCA might have lost his other SALNS that couldn’t be found.

In contrast, Sereno had not submitted any letter either to the UP or to the Ombudsman to which she had attached a SALN or SALNs for any year that couldn’t be found. She could not produce any evidence that she did file the SALNS that could no longer be found.

Sereno should be worried that in the Doblada case, the court actually ruled: “On the basis of the foregoing discrepancies, inconsistencies and omissions (of Doblado’s SALNs), we find respondent guilty of violating” the anti-graft law and for his failure to declare a true and detailed SALN. The sheriff was dismissed from government service, all benefits that were due to his employment forfeited, and he was banned from being employed in government, including in state-owned or -controlled corporations.

With that precedent, and several others in which government officials had not filed their SALNs, Sereno is not only fighting for her post at the Supreme Court, but for much more. I think for her lies in the Supreme Court, she should be kicked out of the law profession.

There is only one explanation why this mediocre legal academic would have the gall to insist that she could head our country’s justice system: Her delusions of grandeur are irrational, and an indication of an unhinged mind. The court’s psychologists after all warned of this when Aquino put his college chum, and defender of his clan’s P5 billion Hacienda Luisita claim, there.

For imposing on the country such an extremely unqualified Chief Justice, Aquino should be lynched and hung between the pillars of the Supreme Court’s offices.

Email: tiglao.manilatimes@gmail.com
Facebook: Rigoberto Tiglao
Twitter: @bobitiglao

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