Sereno ousted from SC

Christopher Davidson
May 12, 2018

Ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno has described the Supreme Court's decision to unseat her as "unacceptable" and questioned the legality of the move. "Let us respect its decision granting the quo warranto petition as the proper remedy and the quo warranto petition ruling against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno". "During the time of PNoy (President Benigno Aquino) pa", he stressed.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson agreed with Sotto, saying he does not think the House will push through with its impeachment proceedings.

"This special class of public officials - comprising of the President, Vice-President, the Members of the Supreme Court, the Members of the Constitutional Commissions, and the Ombudsman - may be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes, or betrayal of public trust", the Constitution states. Her spokesperson, Jojo Lacanilao, in a separate statement said the chief justice has chose to take a 15-day "wellness leave".

After the SC's official announcement of the ruling, Sereno immediately stepped out of the SC building and spoke to her supporters. In a speech at a judicial forum at University of Baguio, Sereno rejected calls for her to resign.

Solicitor General Jose Calida filed the quo warranto petition before the SC to seek the removal of Sereno by questioning the validity of her appointment on the basis of her alleged failure to fully disclose her personal wealth.

For Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, the SC had violated the Constitution for choosing to remove Sereno thru the quo warranto.

The justice committee of the House found probable cause to impeach Sereno with a vote of 38-2.

"Ang biggest "winners" sa SC decision ay ang mga abogadong pulpol na handa sanang magkalat ng katangahan sa impeachment trial na hindi na mangyayari dahil malamang hindi na ipadala ng House ang Articles of Impeachment sa Senado (The biggest winners on the SC decision are imbecile lawyers who are ready to scatter stupidity in the impeachment trial which may not happen anymore since the House may not transmit the articles of impeachment to the Senate)", he wrote on Twitter.

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"They took away the right of the Senate and destroyed the Judiciary", she told her supporters in reference to the majority of the justices who voted to oust her.

The Supreme Court (SC) made a decision to hold an oral argument on April 10 on the quo warranto petition filed by Calida against Sereno. Appointed at age 52, she was supposed to stay in the Supreme Court as chief magistrate for 18 years but lasted less than 6 years.

SC set voting on Sereno's quo warranto case originally on May 17.

Sereno returned to the Supreme Court, ending her month-long wellness leave. Six of Sereno's fellow justices testified against her in the hearings that started in September, exposing rifts in the high court.

This was the main argument raised by Solicitor General Jose Calida in asking for Sereno's ouster.

It was a moment of historical firsts.

The Supreme Court has yet to release the full Supreme Court decision and the justices' separate opinions.

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