• UPDATE: Psychiatrists who evaluated Sereno testify at impeachment hearing 


    TWO psychiatrists who were summoned to the impeachment proceedings against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno at the House of Representatives appeared before the committee conducting the hearing on Tuesday.

    Dulce Sahagun of Medical City in Ortigas and Genuina Ranoy evaluated Sereno when she was applying for the position of Chief Justice in 2012, one of the requirements of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC), which screens and recommends prospective candidates to the President.

    Rep. Reynaldo Umali of Oriental Mindoro, chairman of the Committee on Justice, opened the hearing by saying that it would be the last on the impeachment complaint filed by lawyer Larry Gadon against Sereno.

    The Manila Times published an exclusive story on August 2012 on the results of the 11-page psychiatric evaluation report on Sereno who got a 4 out of 5 rating, with 5 being the lowest.

    The report described Sereno as dramatic and emotional, and that “she appears energetic and all smiles and agreeable, but with religious preoccupation in almost all significant aspects of her life. She projects a happy mood but has depressive markers too.”

    The same report said that the Chief Justice has a strong tendency to make decisions based on current moods, thus these would always be “highly subjective and self-righteous.”

    Former president Benigno Aquino 3rd appointed Sereno as Chief Justice in 2012 based on a shortlist recommended by the (JBC).

    Gadon is accusing Sereno of alleged betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution for allegedly:

    * granting allowances and other perks to herself and her staff on foreign trips;

    * preventing lower court justices from issuing warrants of arrest against Senator Leila de Lima on drug related charges;

    * acquiring a P9-million bulletproof luxury car;

    * falsifying the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) involving the dispute on the legitimate elected representatives of the Coalition of Associations of Senior Citizens in the Philippines, Inc.;

    * failing to declare P37 million in fees as government counsel in her Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN);

    * manipulating the shortlist of the JBC to exclude then Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza, for personal and political reasons, thereby curtailing the President’s power to appoint him. LLANESCA T. PANTI


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