The Supreme Court’s purchase and fabrication of a bulletproof luxury vehicle for Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno will cost taxpayers worth P9 million, documents showed.
According to documents obtained by The Manila Times, Sereno asked the high court’s Procurement Planning Committee and Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) to provide her a bulletproof sports utility vehicle in December 2016.
As shown by the Technical Specifications and Certificate of Availability of Funds accompanying bid documents, Sereno specifically sought the procurement of a bulletproof Toyota Land Cruiser.
“Technical Specifications of the vehicle proposal for the official use of the Honorable Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P.A. Sereno, Toyota Land Cruiser 200 4.5 L V8 A/T Premium (White Pearl),” the documents read.
In the said proposal, the vehicle was stated to cost P5,263,815.00, excluding the cost for bullet-proofing.
Car experts told The Manila Times that bullet-proofing could amount to P3 million to P4 million.
The high tribunal held a public bidding for the procurement of the vehicle and the deal was eventually awarded to Toyota Makati Inc. for P P5,110,500.00.
In its resolution awarding the bid to Toyota Makati Inc., the SC-BAC justified the purchase by citing Sereno’s stature and position.
SC sources told The Manila Times that they are not aware of any threats against the life of Sereno that would necessitate the purchase of a bulletproof vehicle.
They also claimed that this is the first time that the Supreme Court has bought a bulletproof vehicle for its chief magistrate.
Last week,an anti-crime group said it was poised to file an impeachment complaint against Sereno.
A source told The Manila Times that the group’s lawyers are gathering evidence against the Chief Justice and that some members of the justice panel at the House of Representatives are keen on endorsing the impeachment complaint against Sereno.
Sereno has been accused of not declaring her earnings from her stint as a lawyer of the Philippine International Air Terminals Company in her statement of assets, liabilities and net worth.
Should the complaint prosper in the House, Sereno will be the third Chief Justice slapped with an impeachment complaint following former Hilario Davide Jr. and Renato Corona.