Sereno: My detractors should decline Chief Justice nomination


Posted at Jun 28 2018 09:43 AM

MANILA - Ousted chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Thursday said Supreme Court justices who voted for her removal from office should decline their respective nominations to be her successor.

Five of the high court's most senior justices -- Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio and Associate Justices Teresita De Castro, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin and Mariano Del Castillo -- have been nominated to the post vacated by Sereno.

Of the 5, only Carpio did not vote for Sereno's ouster through a quo warranto petition.

Sereno said the justices will violate conflict of interest prohibition in the Code of Judicial Conduct if they accept the nomination for her post.

"It was wrong, it was unjust for them to accuse, to be witness, to be the ponente even, taking investigative steps, to add to ponencia, to judge and to benefit," she told ANC.

The former chief justice said Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez should also turn down the nomination to be her successor.

Marquez, she alleged, "led in the politicization of the Supreme Court" by spurring the protests against her.

Carpio, who is set to retire in 2019, has said that he is not interested in the top judicial post.

The shortlist of candidates for the next Chief Justice has been forwarded to the Office of the President.

Under the Constitution, President Rodrigo Duterte is required to name Sereno's replacement within 90 days from her removal from office.

Applicants to the post are required to submit their Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALNs) to the Judicial Bar Council, which screens applicants to the bench.

The quo warranto petition against Sereno accused her of failing to declare her wealth in full when she applied for chief justice in 2012.

Sereno said she has forgiven her former colleagues who supported her removal.

"I have forgiven them... The Bible says you love your enemies, you forgive and bless and pray for those who persecute you," she said.