• Sereno mum on car, impeachment issues

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    Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno has kept silent on threats of impeachment against her and her acquisition of a bulletproof luxury car using taxpayers’ money.

    Theodore Te, chief of the Public Information Office (PIO) of the Supreme Court (SC), on Monday said there is an appropriate time to comment on the two issues.

    “… there will be an appropriate time for comments on things like those. This is not that time,” Te told the media in a text message.

    He said “the media will be informed when it is the appropriate time.”

    It was discovered that Sereno had bought a P9-million bulletproof luxury vehicle and the cost was shouldered by the SC using the taxpayers’ money.

    Documents obtained by The Manila Times showed that as early as December 2016, Sereno asked the Procurement Planning Committee and the Bids and Awards Committee of the SC to provide her a bulletproof sports utility vehicle.

    The “Technical Specifications” and certificate of “Availability of Funds” of the documents also showed that the Chief Justice wanted a Toyota Land Cruiser.

    The Manila Times source said the vehicle has been delivered to Sereno and is used alternately with her Starex van (UIS 412).

    “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 document read.

    “Certificate of Availability of Funds dated November 25, 2016, in the amount of Five Million Two Hundred Sixty Three Thousand Eight Hundred Fifteen Pesos (P5,263,815.00) exclusive of vehicle bullet proofing,” it said.

    Procurement of the vehicle underwent a bidding process and it was bought only for P5,110,500.00.

    In her 2016 Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth, she declared P24.249 million.

    JOMAR CANLAS

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