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SC justice sees nothing wrong in vehicle purchase

By PNA and Ellson Quismorio

An associate justice of the Supreme Court said yesterday the acquisition of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P.A. Sereno of a P5.1-million luxury vehicle complied with a budget circular allowing the country’s highest officials to purchase a service vehicle over “security reasons.”

During the impeachment hearing of the House Justice Committee against Sereno, Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo said Administrative Order No. 233 issued by the Department of Budget and Management prohibits the acquisition and use of luxury vehicles by government officials.

However, Del Castillo noted that the budget circular provides an exemption for “those used for security reasons and purposes for the President, Vice President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.”

Meawhile, House Deputy Minority Leader ABS party-list Rep. Eugene Michael de Vera yesterday revealed during the hearing that the SC acted with dispatch on the 29.

survivorship benefit claims of deceased judges and justices when the impeachment complaint against Sereno came out.

“Pinagtatakhan lang namin Mr. Justice, bakit biglang gumalaw yung 29 cases na yan yung sa survivorship benefits nung lumalabas na po yung impeachment complaint. Biglang bumilis,” De Vera told Del Castillo.

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