Supreme Court rules CJ Sereno ouster final

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 19 2018 11:38 AM | Updated as of Jun 19 2018 06:58 PM

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MANILA (UPDATE) - The Supreme Court en banc junked on Tuesday the plea of ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to reverse the high court's ruling that nullified her appointment as the country's top magistrate, its spokesperson Theodore Te said.

Still voting 8-6, the magistrates stood by its earlier decision on the quo warranto petition filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida, saying Sereno's plea lacked merit. The high court said their decision is final.

"The 90-day period for filing the vacancy in the office of the Chief Justice commences today," Te said. 

Sereno was ousted for her failure to fully disclose the required statements of assets, liabilities, and net worth when she applied for the Supreme Court's top post in 2012.

In her motion, Sereno said the ruling should be null and void as the 6 justices who voted for her ouster had lost their impartiality to fairly decide on the case. She also insisted that a chief justice may only be removed through impeachment. 

Sereno earlier sought the inhibition of 6 of her former colleagues at the high court for the supposed bias they showed when they testified before a House committee tackling her impeachment. But the magistrates rejected the plea. 

In the May 11 ruling, the Supreme Court granted the ouster petition in an 8-6 vote. In another vote, 9 justices said quo warranto was the proper remedy to remove Sereno, while 5 said it was not. 

Protests followed the ruling, with critics calling it an attack on judicial independence.

Lawmakers said the finality of the ruling renders the impeachment case pending against Sereno at the House of Representatives "moot and academic."

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said the case would be sent to the chamber's archives. 

 -- with reports from Johnson Manabat and Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News