Sereno urges SC to junk quo warranto petition seeking her ouster

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 19 2018 03:08 PM

MANILA - Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Monday urged the Supreme Court to dismiss the petition seeking to void her appointment.

In a comment filed before the high court by her lawyers, Sereno emphasized that impeachment is the only way to remove a sitting chief justice. 

"The Chief Justice respectfully prays that the honorable Supreme Court dismiss the quo warranto petition which seeks her removal and questions the validity of her appointment," lawyer Justin Mendoza said.

"The Chief Justice respectfully submits that Section 2, Article 9 of Constitution and the established rulings of the Supreme Court clearly provide that members of the Supreme Court, including the Chief Justice, may be removed only by impeachment," he added.

Mendoza added that Sereno is looking forward to her day in court so she can present her witnesses and evidence before her impeachment trial begins. 

The Office of the Solicitor General earlier sought to void Sereno's appointment, saying the Chief Justice is "unlawfully holding" her post due to her alleged failure to fully disclose her wealth.

The petition accused the chief justice of "usurpation of a public office" as public officials are required under the law to file their statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth. 

Sereno's non-filing of SALN for a 17-year period during her stint as a University of the Philippines professor is among the charges included in the draft of the articles of impeachment against her.

The articles of impeachment will be sent to the House plenary for approval. The Chief Justice has been on indefinite leave as she prepares for her looming impeachment trial in the Senate.