Sereno appears during oral argument on quo warranto case

11 April, 2018, 04:54 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Sereno faces colleagues as SC tackles ouster petition

Duterte reacted angrily to Sereno's statement on Monday in which she accused the president of allegedly meddling in the quo warranto petition filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida against her before the High Court.

The challenge posed by Sereno was, however, dismissed quickly by Justice De Castro.

Sereno said that she was not the one who placed the 2006 date. "You are blaming everyone, but the point is, have you religiously filed your SALN?" de Castro told the Chief Justice.

The President maintained that he was not behind any ouster plot against Sereno, but with her insistence, he said he would "beat" the Chief Justice and would even help investigators against her.

Sereno said De Castro's interpretation was out of context.

"There are 11 instances they could have objected", she said, referring to the JBC.

President Rodrigo Duterte's order to fast-track the impeachment of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno was addressed not just to House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, but to all members of PDP-Laban in the House of Representatives, Malacañang said.

This is the first time in the history of the country's judiciary that a sitting Chief Justice became a respondent in a petition filed with the SC.

Sereno explained that she was only asked to submit at least two SALNs filed while she was still in UP and that she was not able to comply as she was told by the UP Human Resource Department that the records were not found. "I did not", Calida said.

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Under questioning by Associate Justice Noel Tijam, Sereno stuck to her stand and said she submitted all requirements with the JBC, not only the SALNs but also the NBI and police clearances, Court clearance and clearance from the Office of the Ombudsman.

"I know nothing about what happened inside the JBC".

She was also quizzed on the truthfulness of the SALNs she submitted to the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) as a requirement when she applied for the associate justice post in 2010, and for the chief justice post in 2012. "Her appointment is tainted with invalidity because she is ineligible, '" Calida said.

Sereno, however, insisted that she could not longer find copies of her SALN because of the 10-year retention period.

Poblador stressed that a ruling in favor of the quo warranto petition would set "a very unsafe precedent, erode the independence of the judiciary and the principle of separation of powers".

Calida asked the SC to remove Sereno due to her alleged failure to fully disclose her wealth based on her SALNs.

The top government lawyer added that he also did not consult any lawmaker-whether from the House of Representatives or the Senate-before filing the case.

In their urgent plea, the petitioners said they have a "clear legal interest" on the case, adding Sereno can only be removed from her post through the impeachment process and not by a quo warranto petition.

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