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Sereno camp insists: CJ acted on Maute transfer request promptly.

MANILA, Philippines Chief Justice Maria LourdesSereno"acted promptly" on Justice SecretaryVitalianoAguirre II's request to transferMautecases, contrary to her colleagues' statements, her lawyer said on Tuesday. Lawyer Jojo Lacanilao, one of Sereno's spokespersons, asserted that the chief justice did not dilly-dally on an urgent issue as her fellow justices allege.

In a statement, Lacanilao noted that Aguirre's May 29 letter was "personally addressed" to Sereno. He added: "Considering the urgency of the matter, she discussed the matter with the Supreme Court En Banc even prior to the matter being raffled.

" Associate Justice Teresita De Castro told the House panel on Monday that the chief justice bypassed the SC's raffle committee when she "arrogated" upon herself the matter of Aguirre's letter. De Castro and other justices of the SC testified before the House of Representatives Committee on Justice on the allegedly "delayed" resolution of Aguirre's request.

Associate Justices Francis Jardeleza and Noel Tijam said that Sereno failed to inform the full court of the "urgency" to act on the transfer of Maute cases. Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 READ:At Sereno impeachment hearing, divisions among justices go on full display De Castro also pointed out that the members of the raffle committee meet every Monday, but the letter was not included in the case for raffle on June 5.

"If she received the letter on May 29, there was ample time for the matter to be included in the raffle," De Castro told the panel on Monday. On July 6, the SC issued a resolution to designate Cagayan de Oro trial courts to handle the Maute cases.

The justices said that the resolution was discussed during lunch, following the en banc session. But Lacanilao argued: "Since the Supreme Court En Banc acted on the request, the raffle committee assigned the administrative matter to the Chief Justice consistent with the standard practice of the Clerk of Court.

" "The administrative matter was part of the raffle proceedings and although it was assigned to the Chief Justice, the assignment was confirmed by the members of the raffle committee composed of three justices of the Supreme Court," he added. The House of Representatives Committee on Justice conducted its seventh day of hearings on lawyer Larry Gadon's impeachment complaint on Monday.

They will resume deliberating whether Gadon's impeachment complaint has probable grounds to remove Sereno from the chief magistrate position on January next year. RELATED:Jardeleza, Brion testify on Sereno's alleged manipulation of JBC shortlist |Sereno camp says she acted in 'good faith' in excluding Jardeleza from JBC list

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Publication:Philippines Star (Manila, Philippines)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Dec 12, 2017
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