Sereno camp belittles ouster bid via quo warranto

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 28 2018 12:11 PM | Updated as of Mar 01 2018 10:51 AM

Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno answers questions during her guesting at ABS-CBN's Bottomline on February 23, 2018. Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The attempt to remove Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno from office through a quo warranto proceeding has no basis and will flounder, her camp said Wednesday.

Suspended lawyer Eligio Mallari, president of Vanguard of the Philippine Constitution, filed a quo warranto case against Sereno last week. This legal action is used to question whether a person has a legal right to hold an office.

"This has absolutely no basis in law and in the constitution.
The only way by which the Supreme Court chief justice may be removed from office is through impeachment," Sereno spokesperson Atty. Josalee Deinla said in a press conference.

"Dahil sa aming palagay ay wala itong batayan, hindi rin ito magme-merit. Wala ring makikitang resulta d'yan sina Mallari," she added.

(Due to its lack of basis, we believe this will not have merit. Mallari's group will see no results there.)

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Deinla also alleged that Mallari's complaint is part of "coordinated efforts" to discredit Sereno.

Among these coordinated efforts are the graft complaint against Sereno before the Office of the Ombudsman, and her impeachment complaint.

Mallari and Manuelito Luna also filed a complaint last year, seeking the dismissal of Overall Deputy Ombudsman Melchor Arthur Carandang, lead investigator in the Duterte case, Deputy Ombudsman for Mindanao Rodolfo Elman, and members of the Ombudsman’s field investigation unit.

In their complaint, Luna and Mallari said the Ombudsman officials were guilty of graft and corruption for divulging confidential information and giving a private party unwarranted benefit.

They also accused the officials of betrayal of public trust for “falsely and maliciously claiming that the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) had issued a Report regarding the alleged account deposits of President Rodrigo Duterte.”