Court administrator confirms Sereno flies business class with staff, security

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 15) — Court Administrator Midas Marquez confirmed on Monday that Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno flies business class with her staff and security.

In the resumption of the impeachment hearing against Sereno at the House Justice Committee, Marquez recalled taking the same domestic flight with Sereno when he was a Deputy Court Administrator flying economy class.

"Nung minsan, pumunta po kami ng Cebu... pabalik ho, sabay-sabay kaming pabalik ng Maynila, kasama si Chief Justice at yung staff niya at security. Nandun ho ako sa economy. Yung mga staff and security, nandun sila sa business class lahat," Marquez said.

[Translation: We went to Cebu one time, then when we got back to Manila, the Chief Justice was with her staff and security, and I was in economy class. The staff and security were all in business class.]

He added that the Court Administrator and the Chief Justice were entitled to business class seats.

Asked by congressmen who paid for the airfare of Sereno's staff and security, Marquez said he believed the Supreme Court did.

In his impeachment complaint, Atty. Larry Gadon said Sereno spent public funds to finance her extravagant and lavish lifestyle. In her written response, Sereno said she was allowed to travel business class based on SC rules.

The matter was first discussed by the House Justice Committee on November 28 last year, but Gadon was unable to produce documents to support his claims.

Sereno is facing a complaint based on four grounds for impeachment: culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of public trust, corruption, and other high crimes.