Sereno ouster 'well for the country': SolGen


Posted at May 11 2018 12:26 PM

The ouster of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno "augurs well for the country," said Solicitor General Jose Calida, who had sought the top magistrate's removal from office. 

"The Supreme Court Decision ousting Maria Lourdes Sereno augurs well for the country as it preserves the stability and integrity of the Judiciary. This decision is the epitome of its exercise of judicial independence," Calida said in a statement Friday. 

Sereno, the first woman to hold the top post in the judiciary, had contested the validity of a "quo warranto" petition that led to her ouster, saying she could only be removed through ongoing impeachment proceedings.

The high court en banc voted 8-6 on Friday to invalidate her appointment in 2012. Calida filed the petition, citing failure to fully disclose her wealth.

Calida thanked justices who voted for Sereno's ouster, calling them "learned magistrates."

Eight Supreme Court magistrates, most of whom appointees of presidents Rodrigo Duterte and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, voted in favor of the petition.

Of the 8 justices, only Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza was appointed by then-President Benigno Aquino III. Sereno earlier opposed Jardeleza's appointment to the high court.

The justices who testified against Sereno during the House impeachment hearings, Teresita Leonardo-De Castro, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Francis Jardeleza, Noel Tijam, and Samuel Martires, also voted in favor of the ouster plea. 

Sereno earlier asked for the inhibition of these magistrates but her petition was junked. 

"Despite the raucous voices of those pretending to champion the Constitution, the magistrates stayed true to their oath and faithfully adhered to the rule of law," said Calida. 

"Lastly, I implore the Filipino people to continue the fight against those intending to undermine the stability and integrity, not only of the Judiciary, but also of the government as a whole," he added. 

Six justices opposed the quo warranto petition, including Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio.