SC justices to release statement on Sereno leave - sources

Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 28 2018 10:40 PM

MANILA - The magistrates of the Supreme Court will release Thursday a statement regarding Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno's "wellness leave."

ABS-CBN News sources said the statement was signed by 13 justices, with SC Associate Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa on leave and Sereno inhibiting.

Sources earlier said Sereno was confronted by a “majority” of her colleagues during Tuesday’s en banc session on several of the allegations in the impeachment case.

Several of the justices reportedly asked her to resign, and others raised the issue of loss of confidence citing the gravity of the allegations against her.

The indefinite leave of absence begins on Thursday, March 1.

Lawyer Jojo Lacanilao, a spokesperson for Sereno, has denied that the Chief Justice was forced to go on leave.

"No, she's not forced. It's her personal decision to go actually on leave. There is nothing, I think, that we can show based on records that the Supreme Court has done to force her in any way to actually take this leave," he told ANC on Tuesday.

Sereno is facing impeachment proceedings at the House of Representatives after lawyer Lorenzo Gadon accused her of culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of public trust, and other high crimes.

Several magistrates of the Supreme Court have appeared in the impeachment proceedings, accusing Sereno of several violations and undermining the court as a collegial body.