Philippine Chief Justice Sereno concealed income; now goes around with armed guards — New York Times article

Supreme Court Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno was appointed by President Benigno Cojuangco-Aquino in 2012 after the Cojuangco-Aquino administration campaigned for the impeachment of then Chief Justice Renato Corona. Corona died in 2016.

NEW YORK CITY — The Philippine Supreme Court Chief Justice has been accused of concealing her income for years and now goes around with armed guards to protect herself as she faces an impeachment and possible removal by her own colleagues, according to the New York Times.

The New York Times reports that Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno “faces an impeachment vote next week over accusations that she had concealed some of her income for years.”

It (impeachment complaint) alleges that for about a decade, Chief Justice Sereno maintained a lavish lifestyle while failing to fully disclose her income fully.

The complaint also accuses her of corruption and betrayal of the public trust. Her accusers say the Supreme Court spent more than five million pesos, or $265,000, on a luxury vehicle for her use.

Sereno also told the New York Times that  “she has begun to travel with armed guards” as she goes around the country while on leave from the Court, after her fellow justices forced her to take an indefinite leave while some even asked for her resignation for lack of confidence.

Supreme Court employees and justices on Monday aired their protest against Sereno in a flag ceremony where they wore red shirts as they called for Sereno’s resignation for betrayal of public trust. The Office of the Solicitor General has asked the Supreme Court to nullify Sereno’s appointment as Chief Justice on the grounds that she did not meet the requirements when she failed to submit her statement of assets and liabilities.