NFA’s Aquino diverted E. Visayas rice to Bulacan rice traders – memo to Duterte

Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr pens a confidential memo to President Rodrigo Duterte laying out NFA anomalies under Jason Aquino’s watch

nfa rice sacks

MANILA, Philippines – In a confidential memorandum to President Rodrigo Duterte, Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr accused National Food Authority chief Jason Aquino of diverting NFA rice meant for typhoon-prone Eastern Visayas to select Bulacan rice traders.

The memorandum obtained by Rappler was supposed to have been given to Duterte by Evasco during a one-on-one meeting in Malacañang on Monday, April 16.

In the document, Evasco said Aquino, without approval of the NFA Council, sold 10.4 million kilograms of NFA rice meant for Region VIII to chosen Bulacan rice traders for P235 million.

The deal was disadvantageous to the government as it had purchased the rice for P261 million “for specific rice consumers – poor communities in Region VIII.”

The scheme was one reason why there was a sudden decline in NFA’s buffer stock in Eastern Visayas. The kilograms of rice sold to private traders is “equivalent to a buffer of 3-days-to-last,” reads the memorandum.

With the Aquino-sanctioned pull-out, the region’s buffer stock was reduced to less than a day’s worth of stock.

The memo included the selling price bulletin issued by Aquino to prove this. It also attached a letter from an NFA official protesting Aquino’s move.

“The official further urged the Administrator to distribute the rice reserves to provinces that need buffer stock replenishment and not sell it to private retailers. Nonetheless, the NFA Administrator proceeded with the sale,” wrote Evasco.

The sale proceeded despite the special mandate given to NFA to ensure higher reserves for Eastern Visayas because it is in the typhoon belt and thus most vulnerable to food security threats.

Evasco slammed Aquino for acting as if diverting NFA rice stocks was solely his prerogative.

“The NFA Administrator arrogated unto himself the exclusive discretion of determining the allocation and recipients of NFA rice stocks without the slightest regard to the guidelines and procedures that safeguard the interest of the public,” said the Cabinet Secretary.

Why to Bulacan rice traders?

Documents attached as annexes to the memorandum show a portion of the Eastern Visayas buffer stock was sold to 4 Bulacan rice traders: Mutya Rice Mill Bulacan, Mountain View MPC, Labne Producers Coop, and Balaong MPC.

The 4 traders bought a total of 45,906 bags of rice intended for Eastern Visayas.

Evasco pointed to one possible reason for the supposed preference for Bulacan traders – Aquino’s wife comes from San Miguel, Bulacan.

ANOMALIES. A portion of Evasco's memorandum for President Rodrigo Duterte details how many bags of NFA rice were sold to private rice traders

ANOMALIES. A portion of Evasco’s memorandum for President Rodrigo Duterte details how many bags of NFA rice were sold to private rice traders

Some Bulacan cooperatives not qualified

Evasco also called attention to the “suspiciously high number of cooperatives from San Miguel, Bulacan” given quotas or allocations to import rice under the Minimum Access Volume (MAV).

Thirty-nine out of the 294 entities that applied for rice importation quotas are from San Miguel.

These cooperatives received a total of 181,502 metric tons of allocation, or 22.5% of the total 2017 MAV approved quota (728,479 metric tons).

Of these, 22 are not authorized to engage in rice importation, said Evasco, using as basis financial statements that prove “they are not financially fit to shoulder the cost of importation.”

These 22 cooperatives received 11% (87,996 metric tons) of the total 2017 MAV quota.

Dubious orders

The NFA Council had also gotten wind of Aquino’s order to pull out NFA representatives in the ports of entry of NFA rice.

The order, said Evasco, is “grossly contrary” to NFA Council guidelines requiring the presence of an NFA employee during the arrival of imported rice as a way to ensure transparency.

Letters from NFA regional officials, attached to the memo, prove Aquino gave the order.

Also attached was a letter from an NFA regional official saying that their office would be “carrying out the order under protest.”

Aquino, however, had reasoned that the NFA’s legal department had merely recommended that future terms of reference and guidelines should be revised to allow pull-out of NFA personnel in ports of entry.


Evasco’s meeting with Duterte and his memorandum come after the President defended Aquino and expressed trust in him.

Duterte had also expressed an intention to “abolish” the NFA Council, a move seen to benefit Aquino. However, after being told by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea that this could not be done without Congress, Duterte said he would transfer the NFA to the Office of the President instead and would assign Agriculture Undersecretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat in charge of rice importation.

Both decisions render the NFA Council obsolete in terms of decisions on rice importation.

Senators have slammed Aquino for supposedly causing panic and the increase of rice prices when he publicly declared a rice shortage.

Some lawmakers have even called on Aquino to resign and criticized Duterte’s desire to abolish the NFA Council. Evasco himself, in March 2017, had asked Duterte to fire Aquino, to no avail. –

Liberal Party – WISHFUL THINKING for 2019 Senatorial Elections

The Liberal Party, together with opposition allies, is aiming for 8 out of the 12 contested senatorial seats for 2109. Since there were 4 LP senators elected for six year terms in 2016, that would add up to 12 (for 2019 – 2022) which is one-half of the available Senate slots. It seems like WISHFUL THINKING on the part of the badly discredited Liberal Party (if poll surveys are to be believed). Popular re-electionist senators (Koko Pimentel, Cynthia Villar, Nancy Binay, Grace Poe, JV Ejercito and Sonny Angara) would be running under the Administration PDP Laban and/or Hugpong ng Pagbabago (of Sara Duterte). Loyal Duterte supporters led by Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte (although the Presidential daughter still denies aiming for national office in 2019), PCOO Asec Mocha Uson, SAP Bong Go and PNP’s Bato De La Rosa would vastly improve the chances of the Administration candidates winning 8 or more Senatorial seats (thus reversing the Liberal Party prediction).

It is customary in Philippine elections for the opposition candidates to dominate mid-term (non-presidential) elections but at this stage of the ball game, with the 2019 polls scheduled in May, President Duterte still enjoys high acceptance ratings which should rub off on his Senate line-up. The opposition has a little over a year to ratchet up the fireworks but they have, so far, failed to dent the Duterte popularity among the vast majority of the Filipino electorate.


hugpong mocha sara bato bong 2


Pangilinan pushes for ‘strong’ opposition coalition in 2019

Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan has pressed for a “strong” opposition coalition in 2019 that would unite, among others, against alleged extra judicial killings (EJKs) and human rights abuses in the country.

“Democracy demands dissent. We need a strong opposition to ensure that our democracy remains vibrant,” Pangilinan, president of Liberal Party (LP), said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

The LP, he said, hopes to help build the “broadest coalition of groups and individuals united behind defending our freedoms and our civil and political rights.”

“We hope this coalition is one in ensuring our economic development is not sidelined by corruption and human rights violations,” said the senator, “Resistance is our movement. We must vigorously resist the slide to authoritarianism and anti-democratic rule.”Pangilinan clarified that the LP would only help build this coalition, which was dubbed as the “Resistance Coalition.”

“LP alone cannot achieve this and we will need to work with other groups and forces willing to unite and to resist extra judicial killings and human rights abuses, the undermining of our sovereignty in the West Phil Sea and the continuing rise of prices of basic commodities among others,” he said in a text message.

“A resistance coalition rather than an LP coalition is what needs to be realized,” he added.

Pangilinan refused to provide more details on the coalition while talks are still ongoing.

It was Senator Bam Aquino, an LP member, who earlier raised the need for a “genuine” opposition slate that he said should be willing to oppose and stand up against government policies damaging to people.

“If you ask me, in 2019, there’s a need for a genuine opposition slate. Kailangan ng mga taong magsasama-sama, magtutulong-tulong para labanan ang polisiya ng administrasyon na nakakasakit sa tao. And I think you will find me on that slate,” Aquino said in a television interview on Monday.        kga

By: Maila Ager – Reporter / @MAgerINQ March 27, 2018
#Duterte #MochaUson #BongGo #LiberalParty  #Pnoy #MarRoxas #BamAquino

House Justice Committee approves Sereno Articles of Impeachment

NEXT STEP – House in plenary will vote to IMPEACH Sereno. One third of total district and partylist representatives needed to IMPEACH (which is almost a certainty due to the Duterte Administration Lower House SUPER MAJORITY). The Senate will conduct an Impeachment Trial to determine guilt/conviction or innocence/acquittal. A two thirds vote of the 24 member Senate is needed to convict.


The House of Representatives’ committee on justice approved on Monday the articles of impeachment against Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

sereno umali 3

With 33 members in favor, the panel ruled to continue the impeachment process to remove Sereno from office, as it also effectively certified its 45-page report on the proceedings it conducted as well as lawyer Lorenzo Gadon’s impeachment complaint against the country’s top magistrate.

Only Rep. Jose Christopher “Kit” Belmonte voted against the 56-page articles of impeachment against Sereno.
The six articles of impeachment, as stated in the speech of House justice committee chairperson Rep. Reynaldo Umali, asserted that Sereno must be impeached on the following grounds:

  1. Non-filing and non-disclosure of her sworn statement of assets and liabilities and net worth (SALN), constituting the impeachable offense of culpable violation of the Constitution and/or betrayal of public trust;
  1. Committing corruption and betrayal of public trust when she misused a total amount of ₱18 million of public funds thereby manifesting her grandiose sense of self-importance;
  1. Committing culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of public trust and/or other high crimes when she arrogated unto herself the powers reposed upon the Supreme Court as a collegial, deliberative and consultative body;
  1. Committed culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of public trust and/or other high crimes when she deliberately and maliciously abused her position as the Chief Justice and ex officio Chairperson of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC);
  1. Committed culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust when she deliberately undermined and violated the principles of separation of powers among the three branches of government; and

6. Committed betrayal of public trust when she willfully and deliberately failed to comply with her oath of office by tyrannical abuse of discretionary power.

The articles of impeachment and committee report will be transmitted to the House committee on rules, which will then schedule them for plenary discussions within 10 session days upon receipt.

The House plenary is set to tackle the articles of impeachment within 60 session days from its submission by the justice committee.

If the committee report and articles of impeachment garner one-third votes of the entire House members, the lower Chamber would then transmit the impeachment complaint to the Senate, which would convene as an impeachment court.

Last March 8, the House justice committee decided there is probable cause to impeach Sereno, who is being accused of culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of public trust, corruption, and other high crimes.
#Duterte #Sereno #ChangeIsComing #ChangeIsHere #SerenoImpeachment


Viral FB Sara Duterte photo with Quezon City TRAPOs (traditional politicians). Sara pinuri. Mga EPAL binatikos.

Sara Duterte visited a Quezon City barangay and feuding city politicians graced the occasion.

PLASTIKAN sa QC. Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte bumaba sa Quezon City para makasalimuha ang mga pangkaraniwang mamamayan. PHOTO: QC District 1 Congressman Bingbong Crisologo (in white) at QC District 4 Congressman (former House Speaker and QC Mayor) Sonny Belmonte. Crisologo will be running for Mayor of Quezon City in 2019. He will be contesting the position against current Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte, daughter of the the former Speaker of the House of Representatives. Kilusang Pagbabago Metro Manila Tapang at Malasakit Kilusang PagbabagoHugpong ng Pagbabago 

sara qc bingbong sb cropped

44,843 people reached, 42 likes, 104 shares

Comments from netizens

Paulina Erjas Bakit dyan Belmonte na tuta ni Aquino pakapalan ng mukha idiot

Ariel Bautista Ang mga gustong tumawid sa kabilang bakod, naninigurado na para sa 2019 election. Alam kasi nila pag na-identify sila sa KULAY DILAW, tagilid na sila> Wag na wag ng iboto ang mga HAYUP na YELLOW TAE na yan!!!!!



Wilhelm de Jose Mag tanim ka ng maraming puno ng manga para marami ang makinabang at marami karin makuha

Jam Real D nxt pres sarah du30.
Rudy Navarro mam Sarah lumayo kayo sa mga demonyong yan
Bernardo Gillego Naku Inday wag kang magtiwala sa mga belmonte doble kara yan.
Celing Rivera Good luck Jesus Christ guide you always Sara care
Ate Joy Hulguin Tubil nako..po Lp po mag yan wag nakami idamay nyo dahil di na yan nakka lusot sa.2019 ang mga iyan
Anthony Gatlabayan Laferg Taragis anak ni belmonte mkakalaban ni bingbong tapos ksama nya sa pic mismong c belmonte… Plastikan nga hehehe
Rodrigo Fontanilla Doguiles Inday ayaw jud pagkumpiyansa sa ilang duha kay mga bulok na kana na pulitiko…ayaw jud intawon……
Cris Voyager Trapos should be discarded and let new generations like Belgica and other qualified young blood to run. Enough of their old stinking style.
Rick Ardo Please deliver Mayor Sarah from evil….
Sarah Mercado Belmonte… Ingat… Followers ng mga iyam lantarang dilawan.. 
MG Jude Cordova Pgbi Sino po ba ang ngiting aso sa tatlo?
Jm Mariano Gagamitin lang kyo ng mga trapo ng QC
Kryz Marcelino mahirap magtiwala dyan..balimbing mga yan at sila naman tatakbo umupo nga sya s nga nya napaganda qc now sya naman..dapat iba nlang vic sotto mas may malasakit payan
Candia B Fernando Pinagitnaan ng mga ulupong
Viola Ronquillo Mayor sarah ayaw gyud trust left n right guys
Marietta Thomas Crisologo yan ba yon may issue???…crisologo case..
Belmonte parati sama sa mga lakad ni Presidente sa abroad ???..
Fedy Pastor Sarah hwag basta maniniwala Kay belmonte LP yan yan ang mga nagpabagsak Na pilipinas mga gahaman sa Pera ng bayan…..
Ferminytom Ytom No!!! To political dynasty!! People pls. reject of those olds politicians!!!lalo na ang mga BALIMBING👊👊
Noyaba Sawac Ronald Ns taong bayan n yn kng cnu ang iboboto nila at dapat alam na nila kng cnu ang mga buwaya sa politiko at mga corrupt? Tanga na cla kng iboboto p nila ang buwaya na corrupt sa politiko wag n kau magtangatangahan sa butohan sa darating na eleksyon,
Leila Medina Lipat bakod…
Edmund Arconado Gaging pareho!
DDS Quezon City IDOL pala ni Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte si Leni Robredo.
Nympha Casuga Intawon day sara
Mga yellowtae tanan na. Andam day sa ila.ang bitin dili lng sa gubat
Naapud diri sa diri . Ampo mi nga lagyo ka sa mga daotan na tae….
Maning Juan Ang mga politico s pilipinas maraming msgnnakaw !!!!!!!!!!’
Paulina Erjas Kapal mo Belmonte yellow tae ka
Rhon David Ingat dyan ka belmonte lahat ng naging pres..kumakapit yan…hunyango yn mdam
Dominador Conahap Madam hwag kng kumpyansa sa mga ahas n yn lalo n yang s belmonte ..balimbing pure yellow zombie yn ehh mautak din ang mokong hindi sumama sa paglubog ng yellow baliktad kaagad yn ang mga taong delikado.
Boggs Merin Mga opportunista marami nanaman ma gagagong mga botante,Bayan gising na kayo,bomoto nang tama,para ang Bayan umasenso!!!
Long Banson Madam mayor mga kalaban yan mag ingat po kyo jan mga ahas yan…
Mon Verdadero Mam Inday wag u idikit katawan u jan ky belmonte balat ahas yan nanunuklaw.
Novel Milla Rosaupan Wag yang tao mam inday masisira kamlang nya malaking ilong na yan cobra yan patalikog ang ataki ingat
Mariz Luague Hahaha plastikkkkkk wag mgpadala mam
Paulina Erjas Bakit dyan Belmonte na tuta ni Aquino pakapalan ng mukha idiot
Michael Llegado Go ms sarah duterte for senator sa 2019
Elmer Cabonilas Saan ka kumukuha ng kapal ng mukha.di kay Panot na dati nilang amo.ingat ka dysn Inday Sara.mga itum ug bukob yong katabi mo…

President Duterte leads destruction of P27-million worth of smuggled luxury vehicles at Cagayan port

du30 2018 luxury vehicles CEZA mar 14

STA. ANA, Cagayan—President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday, March 14, witnessed the public destruction of smuggled luxury vehicles worth P27.2 million in Port Irene, the second batch of illegally shipped vehicles to be destroyed under his administration.

The President witnessed last month similar public condemnation of smuggled vehicles at the Port of Manila during the anniversary of the Bureau of Customs. The destruction of the vehicles was simultaneously done in the ports of Cebu and Davao.

“We reaffirm our commitment to build a country free from the shackles of corruption. This condemnation of these smuggled vehicles demonstrates our firm stand to put an end to a longstanding societal disease that has eroded public trust and tainted the government’s sincerity to deliver equitable social services,” the President said during the event at Port Irene.

“The destruction of these contraband luxury vehicles signifies our strong resolve to restore good governance, preserve our nation’s dignity and safeguard our people’s welfare, he said.

The President reiterated that he will never tolerate smuggling and all forms of irregularities in the country’s ports, especially at the freeports as he stressed that illegal practices will be dealt with to ensure that every government agency is free from corruption.

President Duterte then called upon every local government official, civic leader and the general public to stand with his government in forging a drug-, crime-, and corruption-free Philippines.

He said that the confiscation of the luxury cars implies that there is still a lot of work to be done until the people have stronger and more progressive nation they deserve.

“Together, let us fight for a better government and for a better Philippines that will last generations. This will be our most important legacy as public servants and as Filipinos,” he said.

President Duterte also recognized the contributions of the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) to national development, noting that CEZA’s commitment to spur economic and social development has promoted efficiency and good governance not only inside the eco-zone but in the entire region.

The 14 luxury vehicles, worth P27.2 million, are part of 855 vehicles impounded in Port Irene. CEZA CEO and Administrator Raul Lambino said they will also destroy the remaining more than 800 illegally acquired vehicles at the port, including several luxury motorcycles.

Smuggled vehicles destroyed Wednesday include eight Mercedes Benz, one Porsche, one Maserati, two BMWs, as well as an Opel and Renault sedans.

The public destruction of the illegally imported cars is aimed at discouraging smugglers from shipping in expensive vehicles.

In the same speech, President Duterte reiterated his commitment to put an end to the illegal drug problem as well as criminality.

He also vowed to attain lasting peace in Mindanao through the adoption of a federal form of government.

The President likewise fended off accusations that he leans towards dictatorship.

“If by 2020, we could have perfected the structure and we can move ahead, and if it is already fine-tuned, I still have about until 2022. But if it calls for an election of a President, I will step down immediately,” Duterte said.

“‘Yan ang ipangako ko sa inyo. Hindi ho ako magiging diktador. I’m tired and I want to retire,” he said.

“I never lost an election and I would want it to be that way. So huwag ho kayong matakot,” he assured.  #Duterte #ChangeIsComing #ChangeIsHere

Sara Duterte endorses Bong Go for Senator in 2019

Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte, the Presidential daughter, displayed brilliant political savvy by endorsing the most trusted aide of her father, Secretary Bong Go, for the 2019 senatorial elections. Of course, the final decision on a Go senatorial run would depend on the President but if there is a genuine public clamor, the President would probably allow Go to run as a litmus test of the Duterte Administration since Go is perceived as a Digong clone. Inday Sara may have also trumped PDP Laban House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, with whom she has a running feud, since the PDP Laban tentative senatorial line-up is already more than the needed 12 candidates for senator. By selecting one candidate at a time Mayor Sara can cherry pick the nominees with the greatest chances of electoral victory. She is also showing that her choices have nothing to do with the official PDP Laban selection process since she is not a member of PDP Laban. PDP Laban can adopt her most popular candidate(s) in their ticket or Sara candidates can run as independents or be adopted by other national political parties.


Bong Go humbled by Sara Duterte’s endorsement for 2019 senatorial polls

 March 13, 2018 GMANews Online
hugpong mocha sara bato bong 2

Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go on Tuesday thanked Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio for throwing her support in the event he decides to run for senator in the 2019 midterm elections.

“I am humbled by the endorsement of our beloved city Mayor Inday Sara. The Dutertes, the Father, the Daughter, are my inspiration and the example of being a true public servant,” Go said in a statement.

“Kahit maaga pa po pag-usapan ang politika, ni di ko pa naisip ang tumakbo ngunit sa mga salitang binitiwan ng atin mahal na Mayora Inday Sara, ngayon palang nakakataba ng puso at nakakawala ng pagod kahit na 24 oras akong mag-trabaho,” he added.

Go also promised the Duterte family that he would continue serving President Rodrigo Duterte.

Sara, in an interview, vouched for Go’s qualifications, owing to his experience as the President’s top aide for two decades now. She said they will be “so proud” if there will be a senator from Davao City.

The President earlier quipped during the 116th anniversary celebration of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) on February 6 that Go’s appearance at the Senate inquiry on the controversial frigate acquisition project of the Philippine Navy, which was held two weeks later, can be his closest aide’s ticket to the Senate.

Go, in response, said he was not running as he vowed to serve Duterte until his last breath.

But Go’s stance seemed to have changed last week when Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol, a former politician, expressed belief Go would make it to the top five of the Senate race.— Virgil Lopez/RSJ, GMA News


Go can’t make heads or tails on Senate run

Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go  has received  the endorsement of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio for his possible run for the Senate next year.

“I am humbled by the endorsement of our beloved City Mayor Inday Sara. The Dutertes, the father, the daughter are my inspiration and the example of being a true public servant,” Go said.

However, Duterte’s closest aide maintained it is still too early to talk about politics or his plan to run for an elected position since he’s still undecided.

Nevertheless, he thanked the presidential daughter for the endorsement of his perceived candidacy.

Go said the Dutertes are his inspiration and he is grateful to the President’s daughter for her kind words.

The  Davao mayor  said she knew Go since she was young and praised the man’s loyalty to the President for whom he worked for decades.

#HugpongNgPagbabago #TapangAtMalasakit ##Duterte #MochaUson #IndaySara #BongGo #BatoDeLaRosa



With the IMPEACHMENT of Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno almost a CERTAINTY, the beleaguered CJ went on an INDEFINITE LEAVE of ABSENCE. Her camp is saying this action was done in preparation of the upcoming Senate Trial while the Supreme Court premises is abuzz with the news that 13 Supreme Court Associate Justices in the last en banc meeting (Sereno being the 14th Justice present) FORCED her to take her leave EARLIER than she originally planned.



Psychologist says CJ displayed symptoms of mental disturbance

By: Vince F. Nonato- Reporter / @VinceNonatoINQ
Philippine Daily Inquirer March 01, 2018
Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno has displayed five of nine symptoms of “mental disturbance,” according to a psychologist who assessed her fitness based on allegations aired throughout a 15-week hearing by the House justice committee on a complaint for her impeachment.

During the 15th and last clarificatory hearing on Tuesday evening, expert witness Geraldine Tria said she would not have recommended Sereno’s appointment as Chief Justice of the Philippines based on the committee’s findings.

Tria also cited the evaluation made by two Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) psychiatrists in 2012, in which Sereno got the second-lowest score of 4 on a scale of 1 to 5.

The JBC vets candidates for the Supreme Court and submits a short list of the most qualified candidates to the President.

In 2012, Sereno made it to that list despite her being the most junior justice on the Supreme Court.

Resentment on the court

Then President Benigno Aquino III appointed Sereno Chief Justice, disregarding the seniority tradition on the Supreme Court, which caused resentment among the justices that they openly showed as she began her 18-year term.

Tria said Sereno’s intelligence quotient (IQ) of 109 was “average” and such an applicant should not have been considered because the position required “more responsibility, decision-making.”

“If a person is vying for a high position … and yet the mental ability is just mediocre, why? There are other applicants who have a higher score,” she said.

Tria listed the first four symptoms of mental disturbance displayed by Sereno—grandiosity, preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success and power, sense of entitlement, and tendency to be “interpersonally exploitative,” or taking advantage of others for her own ends.

According to the psychologist, Sereno exhibited these symptoms in her purchase of a bulletproof luxury vehicle—to which the highest-ranked officials were entitled for security reasons—as well as her tendency to “totally ignore” the Supreme Court’s collegial character.

Tria said Sereno seemed to be a “power-tripper” based on the committee’s findings, because of her tendency to “disrespect other members of the court and substitute her own ideas and opinions.”

Lack of empathy

The fifth and “very crucial” symptom, according to the psychologist, was Sereno’s “lack of empathy and sensitiveness to the need of the other members of the community,” as shown by her delayed action on the release of the survivorship benefits of the spouses of deceased judges and justices.

Tria limited her assessment to just the five symptoms, admitting that she had “no way of observing her objectively.”

“I do not know her actually,” Tria said.

But Sereno “fails” when it comes to her emotional well-being, because “it affects the work force,” she said.

“She doesn’t get along with the other justices … If she could not adjust to her coworkers, how much more other people?” Tria said.

The JBC psychiatrists, Genuina Ranoy and Dulce Lizza Sahagun, divulged the results of their evaluation of Sereno in a closed session, citing doctor-patient confidentiality.

But Ranoy and Sahagun said during the public hearing that they agreed with Tria’s assessment.

Before the justice committee held an executive session for most of the evening, JBC member Maria Milagros Fernan-Cayosa clarified that a score of 4 in the psychometric evaluation was not a ground for an applicant’s disqualification.

JBC confidentiality rules

The JBC refused to furnish the committee with Sereno’s psychiatric records because of the council’s confidentiality rules, which lawmakers argued did not apply because it was acting as an impeachment body.

In a press statement, Sereno’s camp said the House had “no business scrutinizing the result of the psychological exam … because it did not constitute grounds for impeachment under the Constitution.”

“Expanding and redefining the grounds for impeachment is itself a violation of the constitutional provision,” said lawyer Jojo Lacanilao, a spokesperson for the Chief Justice.

In a press briefing in Quezon City, Lacanilao brushed aside Tria’s statements to the House justice committee.

“That’s her opinion. But the opinion of the Judicial and Bar Council when [the Chief Justice] was appointed in 2012, she’s qualified,” he said.

“Until that expert is placed on the witness stand in the Senate, [the report] remains irrelevant. I don’t know what the House will do with her testimony, but we will challenge it at the Senate,” he added. —WITH A REPORT FROM JHESSET O. ENANO

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