PEERS THWART CJ: Five colleagues of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno have rejected her petition to inhibit from the deliberations on the quo warranto petition seeking to nullify her appointment, Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio said Tuesday.
Sereno, in a recusal plea, questioned the impartiality of the 5 associate justices, saying they had testified against her in the impeachment proceedings before the House of Representatives.
The group — Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo-De Castro, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Francis Jardeleza and Noel Tijam — had also joined court employees in "Red Monday" protests that asked Sereno to step down.
All motions for the judges to inhibit have been denied for lack of merit," Carpio announced as the High Court began oral arguments.
The justices, he said, will explain the ruling later.
The quo warranto plea, filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida, had cited Sereno's alleged failure to declare her wealth, a requirement when she applied for Chief Justice in 2012.
Sereno, who has denied any wrongdoing, challenged President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday to answer allegations he was behind moves to remove her from office.
Sereno has been on leave from her duties at the Supreme Court since March in preparation for the ouster bids against her.
The country's first female chief justice was expected to stay in her post until reaching the mandatory retirement age in 2030.