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Umali: Impeach panel to forego Carpio’s testimony

A day after Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio in a letter to the House justice panel declined to attend the impeachment hearings against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, chair of the justice panel, said the committee may have to forego Carpio’s testimony.

In his refusal to attend the hearing, Carpio said he declined on the ground that he has no personal knowledge of the issues raised against Sereno.
“We got a letter from him (Carpio) informing us about his decision not to testify. I will still submit this matter to the panel and decide at the proper time. As far as I am concerned, my questions to Justice Carpio have already been addressed. But I will still ask my colleagues if they still have questions for him,” said Umali.
Umali said Carpio declined to testify because he has no personal knowledge on the alleged irregularities in Sereno’s issuance of a resolution about the delayed action on the request of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II to transfer the Maute cases outside Mindanao and her alleged unilateral issuance of Administrative Order (AO) 175-2012 that was also inconsistent with the Court’s 2006 decisions pertaining to the creation of the Regional Court Administration Office in Region 7 (RCAO-7).
Umali, however, said he would have to consult with other members on whether to accept Carpio’s refusal as they may have other questions for him. Aside from Carpio, Umali said his panel invited SC Associate Justices Samuel Martires, Lucas Bersamin, and Diosdado Peralta to be present at the resumption of impeachment hearing this Monday.

Before the end of 2017, Umali said his committee also decided to call Martires, SC Associate Justices Mariano del Castillo and Andres Reyes Jr. to testify against Sereno.
SC Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Noel Tijam and Francis Jardeleza have already testified against Sereno’s supposed failure to abide by internal procedures and consult the full court on various matters.
Retired SC Associate Justice Arturo Brion also appeared before the Umali panel.
Umali also said that his panel also invited Court of Appeals (CA) Acting Presiding Justice Remedios Salazar-Fernando.
Carpio was invited to testify on the allegation that the Chief Justice falsified a temporary restraining order of the Supreme Court in the case involving a senior citizens’ party, as well as the purported hiring of an IT consultant with excessive compensation without public bidding.
Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza, who had testified earlier, accused the Chief Justice of treason in relation to his exclusion in the shortlist as a nominee to the SC post.
The Sereno camp, in answering the accusation made by Jardeleza, said it was Carpio who had raised to Sereno the issue of Jardeleza’s integrity, as he was said to have wanted to exclude Itu Aba in the Philippine pleading before the arbitral tribunal.
In his letter to the justice panel, Carpio siught a list of topics to be included in the House impeachment hearing,
Carpio’s name was mentioned in the hearing as one of the three justices who had created the Special Committee on Retirement and Civil Service Benefits – an added layer which allegedly delayed the granting of survivorship benefits to widows of retired judges and justices.
Carpio said he declined to appear before the panel due to the following reasons:
On Sereno’s alleged falsification of a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) in the case of the Senior Citizens Partylist, Caprio wrote: “I wish to state I have no personal knowledge of this matter.”
On Sereno’s alleged delaying tactic in the transfer of Maute cases, he said he was on a Wellness Leave on 19 June 2017, the day the Maute cases were raffled. “I was out of the country from 19 June to 3 July 2017.”
On Sereno’s supposed lie that some justices asked her to do away with the voting for recommendees to the High Court, Carpio claimed he has no personal knowledge eitehr.
Carpio added, however, that he believes the Court should do away with voting by the Justices since “the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) is an independent constitutional body and in any event it has not been following the recom-mendations of the Court for several years in the past.”
On Sereno’s hiring of an IT consultant allegedly with excessive compensation without public bidding: “I wish to state that I have no personal knowledge how such consultancy contract was procured.”
He also said he knew know about the hiring of the consultant after the contract was questioned – long after the contract was implemented and renewed. Carpio added that this issue is being deliberated by the Court en banc.
He stressed that unless the allegations are made specific, he will not be commenting or testifying on such allegations.
Apparently, Carpio made no mention of the accusations made by Justice Jardaleza on the Itu Aba issue.

1 comment

  • jesus nazario

    Has the excessively-paid IT Consultant been named ? Who is she or he ? And why shd the person beexcessively paid ? What are the results delivered ?

    jesus nazario Friday, 12 January 2018 05:05 Comment Link

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