'Take time to review' Sereno's ouster


Maria Lourdes Sereno is the first Supreme Court chief justice to be removed by her peers.

The scene outside the court in Manila was calm after the ruling.

"If the Chief Justice has been denied of this basic precept that is supposed to be embedded in a democratic process, where justice is to be based on the rule of law, how then can we protect an ordinary litigant who seeks redress before the highest court?" she added.

In an 8-6 vote, the court granted the government's petition to cancel Sereno's role as Chief Justice.

An outspoken critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno was removed after a close vote by the top court.

Sereno had also voted against Duterte's move to place the entire southern Philippines under martial law to defeat Islamic militants; and to rebury the remains of dictator Marcos in a heroes' cemetery. In 2016, after Duterte accused some public figures and judges of being involved in the drug trade, Sereno angered the president by instructing judges not to turn themselves in to authorities before being presented with a warrant.

After the SC's official announcement of the ruling, Sereno immediately stepped out of the SC building and spoke to her supporters. "The only way by which a Chief Justice can be ousted is through an impeachment proceeding", said Bathan.

Not contented from her ouster, the SC also issued a show cause order requiring her why she should not be penalized for supposedly violating Code of Professional Responsibility and Code of Judicial Conduct "for transgressing the subjudice rule and for casting aspersions and ill motives to the members of the Supreme Court". We render this Court subservient to an aggressive Solicitor General.

Reyes added that ousting people like Sereno could lead to a situation where "there will be no more balance of power".

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Sereno went on leave starting in March, but she has insisted that all accusations against her are false.

April 13, 2018 Supreme Court holds oral arguments on the Calida quo warranto petition. "This decision is wrong".

MALACAÑANG, which has been publicly at odds with Sereno, only said the public should respect the SC decision.

The court declared Ms Sereno's position vacant with immediate effect and ordered the judicial and Bar council to begin a new selection process, Mr Te said. She says she was ready to defend herself if the impeachment case reached the Senate for trial.

The vote "ushers in another era of another dictatorship as the Court. puts an end to the last gasps of a dying constitutional democracy", Senator Leila de Lima, a jailed Duterte critic, wrote in a statement.

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

Sereno said there must be a "strong force" that compelled the magistrates to vote as they did.

"So I'm putting you on notice that I am now your enemy". The Executive maneuvered to remove the Chief Justice and consolidate its control over all the branches.