MANILA - For the first time in the history of the country's judiciary, a chief magistrate will take questioning from her colleagues.
Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno will attend the April 10 oral arguments on the quo warranto plea that seeks her ouster, her camp said Wednesday.
Lawyer Jojo Lacanilao, one of Sereno’s spokespersons, said the top magistrate would attend even as he maintained that she could only be removed from her post through impeachment proceedings.
Sereno, who used to lead oral arguments at the high court, was ordered by her fellow magistrates to attend the proceedings in Baguio City.
She is currently on leave to prepare for a possible impeachment trial.
The Office of the Solicitor General had filed the quo warranto petition to nullify Sereno's appointment, citing her alleged failure to fully disclose her wealth before applying for the chief magistrate’s post.
Sereno, the country's first female Chief Justice, had previously urged the Supreme Court to dismiss the Solicitor General's petition, arguing that she could only be removed via impeachment.
She is facing a separate impeachment complaint at the House of Representatives, filed by lawyer Lorenzo Gadon. Last month, a House panel approved the draft articles of impeachment against Sereno.
Sereno was appointed to the high court in 2012 by 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.
Upon appointment, she was expected to stay in her post until her retirement at 70 in 2030.
— report from Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News