MANILA- The street of Padre Faura was momentarily closed to traffic on Monday morning as various groups staged a “unity march” in support of the Supreme Court's decision to oust Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
Donning red in solidarity with the ‘Red Monday’ activity of the high court, several groups such as Citizen’s Crime Watch, Sereno Resign, and Oust, Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption, and Puwersang Pilipino hailed the Supreme Court's ruling which removed Sereno from office.
Lawyer Ferdinand Topacio said criticisms hurled at the high court ruling came from a “minority.”
"Kami po ay gumagalang sa desisyon ng Korte Suprema. Ginagalang po namin ang Saligang Batas,” Topacio told reporters.
(We respect the Supreme Court's decision. We respect the Constitution.)
The groups put up red banners in front of the high court calling on the public to “Respect the Constitution.”
A banner, “Celebrating the Eight,” was also raised, which contained photos of the eight magistrates who voted to grant the Solicitor General's quo warranto plea against Sereno.
Magistrates who voted in favor of Sereno's ouster are Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo-De Castro, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Francis Jardeleza, Samuel Martires, Noel Tijam, Andres Reyes, Jr., and Alexander Gesmundo.
Topacio stressed Sereno has no support from within the Judiciary, from the people “who know her best.”
“Kita ninyo mismong empleyado, mismong mga huwes, ayaw na sa kaniya. Gusto mismo siya tanggalin. Sino ba naman kaming taumbayan para hindi sumunod sa mga taong 'yun na nakakakilala sa kanya?” he said.
(You can see that even the employees and magistrates don't like her and want her removed. Who are we not to follow those who know her?)
In an unprecedented decision last May 11, the Supreme Court nullified Sereno's appointment for failure to fully disclose her wealth when she applied for the top post in 2012.
Sereno had said that she would appeal the decision.