Supreme Court declares Chief Justice post vacant

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 11 2018 12:15 PM

Red Ribbons, of critics of Sereno tied to the gate at the Supreme Court on Padre Faura, Manila, May 11, 2018. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA- The Supreme Court on Friday declared the chief justice post vacant after it invalidated the appointment of Maria Lourdes Sereno.

Magistrates of the high court have ordered the Judicial and Bar Council to begin the application and nomination process for Sereno's replacement.

"The position of the Chief Justice is declared vacant and the Judicial and Bar Council is directed to commence the application and nomination process," the dispositive portion of the court's ruling stated.

Sereno, the first woman to hold the top post in the judiciary, was ousted on Friday via a "quo warranto" petition filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida.

The high court en banc voted 8-6 to invalidate her appointment in 2012. The government's top lawyer cited her failure to fully disclose her wealth in seeking her removal from office.

Sereno is the country's second chief magistrate to be removed from office under the 1987 Constitution.

Her predecessor, the late Renato Corona, was impeached in 2012 for failure to fully disclose his wealth.

Sereno's ouster however marks the first time in Philippine history that a chief justice was removed through a quo warranto plea, a legal recourse her camp had argued was incorrect.