MANILA - The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) on Thursday said it would ask the Supreme Court to dismiss a petition asking Chief Justice Maria Lourdes' Sereno's colleagues to remove her from her post.
The IBP said the correct way to remove a chief justice is through impeachment, not through a so-called "quo warranto" petition filed by the Solicitor General. Sereno's camp had made a similar argument.
"Entertaining the quo warranto petition on account of the Chief Justice's supposed lack of integrity is tantamount to subjecting her to the disciplinary authority of the Supreme Court," the IBP said in a statement.
"Under the Constitution, the members of the Supreme Court may not be ordered dismissed by any government authority other than by the Senate after an impeachment proceeding."
The quo warranto petition sought to nullify Sereno's appointment, citing her alleged failure to fully disclose her wealth.
Sereno was appointed to the high court in 2012 by former president Benigno Aquino III following the ouster of the late chief magistrate Renato Corona, who was found guilty by the Senate impeachment court of misdeclaring his wealth.
Sereno, the country's first female chief justice, was expected to stay in her post until her retirement at 70 in 2030.
She is currently on indefinite leave as she prepares for a possible impeachment trial on similar allegations of misdeclaration of assets and violation of judicial procedures.