MANILA - For the the third straight week, several Supreme Court employees showed up for the flag ceremony on Monday wearing red shirts associated with a movement seeking the removal of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno from office.
Several high court magistrates, officials and employees have mounted the "Red Monday" protest since March 1 in support of an en banc decision that led to Sereno's leave of absence.
During Monday’s flag ceremony, the group showed up in shirts with the words "OneSupremeCourt #ParaSaHudikatura #SulongKorteSuprema #SupportJustices&CourtAd."
Sereno told ABS-CBN's "Bandila" last week that Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez was behind the movement.
Clad in red, newly elected officers of the Supreme Court Employees Multi-Purpose Cooperative took their oaths of office before Marquez during the flag ceremony.
Judges, court officials, and employees of the judiciary urged Sereno to resign at last week's Red Monday protest.
The resignation call, dubbed ‘Panawagan sa Pagbibitiw,’ was made by the 1,200-strong Philippine Judges Association (PJA); Philippine Association of Court Employees (PACE), the umbrella organization of all court employees nationwide, which boasts of a membership of at least 25,000; Supreme Court Employees Association (SCEA); Supreme Court Assembly of Lawyer Employees (SCALE), the separate organization of lawyers employed at the SC; and the Sandiganbayan Employees Association.
The House of Representatives on Monday approved a draft of the articles of impeachment against the Chief Justice.
Sereno is facing a separate quo warranto petition before the high court. The petition, filed by the Office of the Solicitor General, urged high court magistrates to void Sereno’s appointment on the basis of ineligibility.
The petition argued Sereno failed to submit to the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) the required Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALNs) for a period of ten years. The OSG explained that this requirement hinges on Article VIII, Section 7 (3) of the 1987 Constitution which states, “A member of the Judiciary must be a person of proven competence, integrity, probity, and independence.”
Sereno’s 10-day period to file her comment on the quo warranto plea expires today, Monday.