Supreme Court Associate Justice De Castro testified that Chief Justice Sereno GROSSLY MISREPRESENTED en banc decisions re Regional Court Administrative Office

Appearing at the House of Representatives Committee on Justice Supreme Court CJ Sereno IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS,  SC Associate Justice De Castro stated that the Chief Magistrate issued administrative orders regarding the formation of a RCAO (Regional Court Administrative Office) when in fact the said creation was NOT APPROVED by the en banc Supreme Court. Justice De Castro issued a memorandum citing the ERROR yet CJ Sereno REITERATED her already REPUDIATED interpretation of the en banc deliberations. Representative Kit Belmonte commented that the Chief Justice may have FABRICATED the minutes and inquired why such discussions were being conducted under public spotlight (rather than in the privacy of an executive session). Complainant Gadon said the Chief Justice FALSIFIED the court documents since the Sereno first resolution did not reflect what transpired in the deliberations. Reacting to the De Castro memo chiding the Chief Justice for the “error’, CJ Sereno supposedly said that she would correct the mistake or oversight, HOWEVER, the Chief Justice, instead of AMENDING her order, made a second resolution REPEATING her blunder.

sereno 2016

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Sereno’s order on judicial office did not conform to en banc decision: De Castro

ABS-CBN News  Nov 29 2017 11:11 AM 

MANILA – Supreme Court Associate Justice Teresita De Castro on Wednesday told the House justice panel that an administrative order by Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno did not conform to the en banc decision of the high court.

De Castro said the en banc had adopted in 2006 two measures seeking to create a pilot Regional Court Administration Office in its decentralization efforts, but these were not reflected in an order released by Sereno in 2012.

“Both of these documents are en banc resolutions, which according to the Chief Justice she would like to implement, but when I compared the administrative order issued by the Chief Justice, it did not conform to the provisions of this administrative matter adopted by the court en banc,” she told lawmakers in the hearing of the House justice committee.

De Castro said she started investigating the matter after she and the other associate justices received an invitation from Sereno’s office to attend the reopening of RCAO in Central Visayas on November 29, 2012.

“I was taken aback because we are invited only to a launching of the Regional Court Administration Office in Region 7, and we were not at all consulted and made to participate in this decision to reopen the Regional Court Administration Office,” she said.

She found then that Sereno had issued Administrative Order No. 175-2012, “designating the head for Judiciary Decentralization Office in the seventh judicial region.”

“Even the heading of this administrative order shows that this is not meant to implement the RCAO as approved by the court en banc unanimously,” she said.

Lawyer Lorenzo Gadon, in his impeachment complaint, also accused Sereno of culpable violation of the Constitution when she falsified Supreme Court resolutions, including one which revived RCAO-7.

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SC magistrate De Castro appears at Sereno impeach hearing

ABS-CBN News Nov 29 2017 

MANILA – Associate Justice Teresita De Castro on Wednesday attended the hearing on finding of probable cause in the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

De Castro, who penned a temporary restraining order that Sereno allegedly tampered with, attended the hearing, alongside Court Administrator Midas Marquez.

“I welcome this opportunity because this will be the right time for me to explain to everyone the process that we follow in deciding cases in the Supreme Court,” De Castro told lawmakers in her opening remarks.

“I also believe this is the proper venue where I can correct the misinformation that has been spread many times during this period,” she added.

House Justice Committee Chairman Reynaldo Umali said their panel will allot the entire session day to De Castro’s testimony since she is one of the central figures in the allegations against the top magistrate.

The panel seeks to establish probable cause in the 27 points mentioned in the complaint against Sereno, including allegedly bypassing her colleagues in the issuance of administrative orders.

The Supreme Court has authorized De Castro to testify on 3 matters only: the issuance of the TRO in the seniors’ citizens cases and exchange of communication with Sereno; the merits of the decision on the clustering case involving the Judicial and Bar Council; and the merits of her separate concurring opinion in the case involving then Solicitor General and now Associate Justice Francis Jardaleza.

De Castro, Associate Justice Noel Tijam, and retired justice Arturo Brion have said they will attend the impeachment hearings once they get clearance from the SC en banc, according to Umali.

#CJSerenoImpeachment #SupremeCourt

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