Calida: Sereno's ouster preserves integrity of judiciary

V. Roxas

The Supreme Court en banc orders Sereno to comment on the quo warranto petition filed against her by the OSG. Lourdes Sereno as "deplorable, contemptuous and a contortion of the Constitution".

The quo warranto petition, filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida in March, challenged Sereno's appointment as chief justice because she allegedly failed to submit the required Statements of Assets Liabilities and Net worth (SALNs) before being assigned her post in 2o12 - a move Sereno contested.

"The reputation and esteem of this present Supreme Court will now rise or fall on the basis of the soundness or unsoundness of this controversial decision upholding a very unusual remedy to oust a sitting Chief Justice", he said.

"Accordingly, respondent (Sereno) is ousted and excluded therefrom".

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Calida basked in his victory again, saying that the Supreme Court's decision to oust Sereno "augurs well for the country as it preserves the stability and integrity of the Judiciary".

Calida earlier said Sereno is not qualified to hold the position.

The Constitution provides that there are special class of government officials that can only be removed through impeachment.

A whole bunch of pro-democracy protesters have massed in entrance of the Philippine Supreme Courtroom to rally for the chief justice forward of an anticipated vote by fellow justices on a petition to oust her in a transfer she calls unconstitutional. The Executive maneuvered to remove the Chief Justice and consolidate its control over all the branches. "Allow the Chief Justice to defend herself in the impeachment trial", the statement reads.

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The SC magistrates who voted in favor of Calida's petition were associate justices Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Diosdado Peralta, Andres Reyes Jr., Lucas Bersamin, Samuel Martires, Alexander Gesmundo, Noel Tijam, and Francis Jardeleza.

Meanwhile, those who dissented were Senior Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio, Associate Justices Presbitero J. Velasco, Jr., Mariano C. Del Castillo, Estela M. Perlas Bernabe, Marvic F. Leonen, and Alfredo S. Caguioa.

"I do not agree with the decision because impeachment is the only constitutional route for removal of a chief justice", Angara, a lawyer, said.

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