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Assuming agad? Sereno’s camp scores lawmakers for accusing her of tax evasion

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The camp of Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno has expressed dismay that legislators are already jumping to conclusions over her alleged tax discrepancies.

During Monday’s impeachment proceedngs against her at the House of Representatives, Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Deputy Commissioner Arnel Guballa admitted that it has found discrepancies in Sereno’s declarations.

“May mga conclusion na pero hindi pa tapos ang investigation. Wala pa man ding reply si Chief Justice, may mga conclusion na,” said said one of her spokespersons, lawyer Jojo Lacanilao, in a statement Monday (Feb. 19).

Lacanilao expressed confidence that could easily explain those discrepancies.

However, he has found it alarming that some lawmakers were already “jumping into premature conclusions” that tend to violate her right to due process.

“Nakababahala na mayroon na silang conclusion, nawala na ang due process,” he said.

Lacanilao pointed out the tax probe on Sereno was a mere afterthought since it was done after the matter was brought up in the impeachment proceedings.

“During the tax years and the years after that, not once did the BIR issued a letter of authority or a letter of notice to the Chief Justice to open her books for possible discrepancy or any question regarding her tax payment for that matter,” the lawyer pointed out.

With this, Lacanilao accused the justice panel is using all resources at its disposal to muddle the impeachment issue since the tax allegations is not even part of the impeachment complaint against her.