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Fariñas to Sereno accuser: Verify attachments first
House Majority Floor Leader Rudy Fariñas attends the President Rodrigo Duterte's second State of the Nation Address on Monday, July 27, 2017. Philstar.com / AJ Bolando, file
MANILA, Philippines — House Majority Floor Leader Rudy Fariñas on Thursday asked Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption lawyer Lorenzo Gadon, to verify attachments in his impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
“I read the Gadon complaint and I told Attorney Gadon when he came to my office yesterday that his allegations must substantially comply with his verification that they are of his own personal knowledge and/or culled from authentic records,” Fariñas, Ilocos Norte representative, said in a statement.
“I told him that if such is endorsed by any House Member and is referred by the Committee on Rules to the Committee on Justice, I will subject it to the same scrutiny that I did with the Alejano complaint,” he added.
Fariñas said Gadon’s complaint contained newspapers reports.
Last May, Fariñas said “newspaper reports are not authentic records” as he invalidated the evidence presented by Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano against President Rodrigo Duterte in his impeachment complaint. The complaint was rejected by the House of Representatives saying it is “sufficient in form but insufficient in substance.”
To avoid insufficiency in substance in Gadon’s complaint, Fariñas said he should obtain authenticated records to support his complaint.
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“I advised him to get true copies of the SC (Supreme Court) orders or circulars that he is alleging to be parts of his causes of action,” Fariñas said.
Fariñas said the Committee on Justice could issue subpoenas if Gadon cannot secure copies of the chief justice's Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth the Judicial Bar Council, her alleged psychiatric report, income tax returns, among others when it reaches that stage of impeachment proceedings.
“Attorney Gadon, or any other complainant for impeachment, should comply with his verification for at least a substantial portion of his allegations especially those that are readily available as they are public documents or records,” Farinas said.
Impeachment complaint vs Sereno yet to be filed
Gadon has yet to file the impeachment complaint against Sereno as he was reportedly advised by a House member to get at least 10 signatures of endorsement for his complaint.
He plans to file the complaint against the chief justice for her “unreasonable and whimsical” procurement of a Toyota Land Cruiser.
Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption founder and president Dante Jimenez also filed a complaint against Sereno on Wednesday, accusing her of culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust.
Jimenez and co-complainant Vanguard of the Philippine Constitution president Eligio Mallari also did not indicate any endorsement from a member of the House of Representatives.