CJ Sereno displayed symptoms of mental disturbance- expert witness

CJ Sereno displayed symptoms of mental disturbance- expert witness

And the stack of issues against the embattled top magistrate keeps getting higher.

A few days after the announcement of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno that she will be on an indefinite leave starting March 1, another issue has been alleged against her. And the issue is not just an issue but a detrimental one with respect to her competency in occupying the top position in the Supreme Court of the country.

During the 15th and last clarificatory hearing, the committee on justice chaired by House of Representative Rey Umali invited an expert witness that just testified that Sereno displayed five of nine symptoms of “mental disturbance.” *

Former President Benigno Aquino III and his appointee Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno (photo credit to owner)

Sereno was assessed by psychologist as regards to her fitness based on allegations aired throughout a 15-week hearing by the House justice committee still connected to the complaint filed by lawyer Lorenzo Gadon for her impeachment.

The committee invited expert witness Geraldine Tria. Tria categorically said that she would not have recommended Sereno’s appointment as Chief Justice of the Philippines based on the committee’s findings.

Tria also cited the evaluation made by two Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) psychiatrists in 2012, in which Sereno got the second-lowest score of 4 on a scale of 1 to 5

The Judicial Bar Council vets candidates for the top post in the Supreme Court and submits a short list of the most qualified candidates to the Philippines.

In 2012, to the surprise of the legal community, Sereno made it to the list despite her being the most junior Justice on the Supreme Court.

The divided Supreme Court

Then President Benigno  noynoy” Aquino III appointed Maria Lourdes Sereno as Chief Justice,  a direct disregard as to the seniority tradition on the Supreme Court. The act of the Aquino created a resentment among the justices that they openly showed as Sereno began her record setting eighteen (18) year term. *

Tria said Sereno’s intelligence quotient (IQ) of 109 was “average” and such an applicant should not have been considered because the position required “more responsibility, decision-making.”

“If a person is vying for a high position … and yet the mental ability is just mediocre, why? There are other applicants who have a higher score,” she said.

Expert witness Tria laid down the first four symptoms of mental disturbance displayed by the Chief Justice - grandiosity, preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success and power, sense of entitlement, and tendency to be “interpersonally exploitative,” or taking advantage of others for her own ends.

According to Tria,
Sereno exhibited these symptoms in her purchase of a bulletproof luxury vehicle—to which the highest-ranked officials were entitled for security reasons—as well as her tendency to “totally ignore” the Supreme Court’s collegial character.

Tria said Sereno seemed to be a “power-tripper” based on the committee’s findings, because of her tendency to “disrespect other members of the court and substitute her own ideas and opinions.”

Emphaty, the lack of it

The fifth and “very crucial” symptom, according to the expert witness, was Sereno’s “lack of empathy and sensitiveness to the need of the other members of the community,” as shown by her delayed action on the release of the survivorship benefits of the spouses of deceased judges and justices.  *

The assesstment of Tria was limited to just the five symptoms, admitting that she had “no way of observing her objectively.”

“I do not know her actually,” Tria said.

But Sereno “fails” when it comes to her emotional well-being, because “it affects the work force,” she said.

“She doesn’t get along with the other justices … If she could not adjust to her coworkers, how much more other people?” Tria said.

Genuina Ranoy and Dulce Lizza Sahagun are the Judicial Bar Council psychiatrists, were made to divulge the results of their evaluation of Sereno in a close session , invoking the doctor-patient relaionship confidentiality.

But the two during the public hearing agreed with Tria’s assessment.

JBC at first refused to provide the committee with Sereno’s psychiatric records stating the council’s confidentiality rules. Lawmakers did not accede to this argument saying that it does not apply because the committee was acting as an impeachment body.

Sereno's camp brushes Tria’s statements

Atty. Jojo Lacanilao, spokesperson of the Chief Justice Sereno, brushed aside the statements made by Tria in the House committee on justice.

“That’s her opinion. But the opinion of the Judicial and Bar Council when [the Chief Justice] was appointed in 2012, she’s qualified,” he said. *

“Until that expert is placed on the witness stand in the Senate, [the report] remains irrelevant. I don’t know what the House will do with her testimony, but we will challenge it at the Senate,” he added.
Report from Phil Daily Inquirer

Post a Comment


  1. Wowowowowowowwow utterly disgusting how the favoritism in pour government is so deep rooted to the core that even the most serious position has been assaulted. Imahgine for a chief justice with an IQ of 101 ? Whoooooooooooooaaaaaahhhh ! Very average but disgusting for a SC Chief Justice. And a psychological assesment getting 4 of 5, second to the lowest ? Wowowow ! For christ sake Sereno resign now. More negative painful hurtful arguments will confront you when you reach the senate impeachment court. Omg, I can only imagine how devastating it wil be. You will face an non stop excruciating assault on your personal life. Gossssssssssssshhhh I don`t even want to think what is going to happen. You will drop down to the abyss of humiliation and you would not recover even after the impeachment. Resign now Sereno madam for christ sake.