Groups hold 'Black Friday' protest, call for judicial independence

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 18 2018 09:18 PM | Updated as of May 18 2018 09:19 PM

MANILA - Several groups joined the so-called "Black Friday" protest and called for judicial independence following the ouster of Maria Lourdes Sereno as chief justice.

Members of religious and militant groups gathered outside the Supreme Court on Friday afternoon to condemn the supposed rising dictatorship in the country.

Other groups, meanwhile, held a separate program at the Boy Scout Circle in Quezon City.

Students of different schools such as De La Salle University, University of Santo Tomas, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, and University of the Philippines-Diliman also conducted their own "Black Friday" protests.

The series of protests came after Sereno was ousted by her peers at the Supreme Court by a vote of 8-6 last week. 

Magistrates of the high court decided that her appointment in 2012 by then-President Benigno Aquino as top magistrate was void. Her post was also declared vacant.

The court's ruling was handed down around a month after President Rodrigo Duterte declared himself Sereno's "enemy" after she questioned why the Solicitor General, the "principal law officer and legal defender" of the government, wanted her out.

In his petition, Solicitor General Jose Calida sought to nullify Sereno's appointment, saying she was "unlawfully holding" office due to her failure to submit all her Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALNs) when she applied for her post, as required under the rules of the Judicial and Bar Council.

-with a report from Michael Delizo, ABS-CBN News