Sereno camp calls Peralta a ‘Pontius Pilate’
The camp of Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno has called Justice Diosdado Peralta a “Pontius Pilate” for claiming not knowing that she complied with the submission of her Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) before the Judicial Bar Council (JBC).
“It is clear to us that Justice Peralta wants to wash his hands clean of how Chief Justice Sereno was included in the JBC shortlist and he knows it,” said one of her spokespersons, lawyer Jojo Lacanilao, in a statement on Monday (February 12).
Lacanilao noted that Peralta, who chaired the JBC when it was then selecting the next chief justice, told the House justice panel said that had he known the issue surrounding Sereno’s SALNs, he would have objected to her inclusion in the shortlist of nominees submitted to then President Benigno Aquino III for his appointment.
The lawyer pointed out Peralta was the one who signed the endorsement letter to Malacañang containing the list of nominees for the Chief Justice post, which included the names of Sereno and seven other candidates.
“Mahirap pong sabihin na hindi nya (Peralta) alam na nangyari ‘yun. Meron pong kasulatan na isinumite sa Malacañang at sya po ay nakapirma roon,” Lacanilao said.
“Hindi po namin lubos maisip kung bakit nya sasabihin na ‘hindi ko alam ito,’” he added.
Lacanilao believes Peralta has an axe to grind against Sereno because his wife, Court of Appeals (CA) Associate Justice Audrey Peralta, was excluded from the shortlist of nominees for CA Presiding Justice that was submitted by the JBC to President Rodrigo Duterte last year after she filed her requirements out of time.
Sereno is currently the ex-officio chair of the JBC.
“Justice Peralta should have some delicadeza in not allowing personal disappointments to color his testimonies before the Justice Committee,” he said.