Sereno downplays SC 'infighting'


Posted at Mar 09 2018 05:41 PM

Sereno downplays SC 'infighting' 1
Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno (R) stands next to Supreme court Associate Justice Teresita de Castro during the annual convention of the country's judges in Manila, March 8, 2018. Ted Aljibe, AFP

MANILA - Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Friday downplayed reported infighting between her and other magistrates of the Supreme Court.

Speaking to the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines, Sereno, currently facing ouster bids, said infighting in any organization is normal as she expressed hopes that this could be resolved.

"In any organization, there will be occasions when these kinds of problems will arise, but I'm sure that in time, when the dust settles, we will all come around again and move forward to be the bringer of justice to the people," she said.

The top magistrate is currently on leave after her fellow justices agreed that she should take an indefinite break from her duties as she faced impeachment proceedings.

On Thursday, tension rose between Sereno and Associate Justice Teresita De Castro after the latter reprimanded the Chief Justice for talking about her impeachment woes in a public event.

De Castro was among magistrates of the High Court who testified against Sereno in the impeachment hearings at the House of Representatives.

Sereno said this was not the first time that infighting in top institutions has been reported, noting that there can always be "healing" and "vilification."

"We are best left to settle our internal administrative differences on our own," she added.

Sereno is facing an impeachment complaint filed by lawyer Lorenzo Gadon for allegedly misdeclaring her wealth and committing supposed administrative lapses, among others. 

The House Committee on Justice ruled Thursday that there are enough grounds to impeach her.

Sereno is also facing a separate petition at the Supreme Court seeking to void her 2012 appointment. The High Court has directed her camp to reply.