Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

'Red carpet for dictatorial rule,' progressives say of Sereno's ouster

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno goes back to work two months after taking an indefinite leave at the request of her fellow magistrates Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno goes back to work two months after taking an indefinite leave at the request of her fellow magistrates
Johnnie Parks | 11 May, 2018, 15:24

She said she could only be ousted through impeachment proceedings, which the House of Representatives had been conducting.

Voting 8-6, the SC en banc favored the Solicitor General Jose Calida's quo warranto petition, voiding the appointment of Sereno.

Former President Benigno Aquino appointed Sereno in 2012. Her spokesperson, Jojo Lacanilao, in a separate statement said the chief justice has chose to take a 15-day "wellness leave".

A Philippine opposition leader says the ouster of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno is a mockery of the constitution.

Solicitor General Jose Calida scores another victory as he successfully ousts a chief justice in a process that is not impeachment.

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Sen. Francis Pangilinan also says Congress should insist on its exclusive constitutional role to remove key officials like her through impeachment.

The House of Representatives is yet to approve the articles of impeachment which is needed so that the Senate can convene as an impeachment court. "The Supreme Court exposed itself as a willing tool in undermining judicial independence because they had an ax to grind against the Chief Justice", Bayan said in a statement.

"Respondent Maria Lourdes P.A. Sereno is disqualified from and is hereby adjudged guilty of unlawfully holding and exercising the office of the chief justice", said Supreme Court spokesman Theodore Te, adding the order was effective immediately. "Let's continue to spread the message of democracy and reason".

Calida filed the quo warranto petition against Sereno, alleging that the chief justice failed to comply with the requirements set by the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) during her application to the post, specifically, her failure to submit her statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN). "We can see if the Chief Justice wants to avail of her last recourse, that is by filing a motion for reconsideration, there is hope", she told CNN Philippines. She also has been speaking up for the respect of law and human rights, irking Duterte at a time he has led a brutal crackdown on illegal drugs that has left thousands of suspects dead.

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