Sereno unseated as Chief Justice

Clay Curtis
May 11, 2018

The Supreme Court (SC), in its en banc session on Friday, May 11 ruled to unseat Maria Lourdes Sereno as chief justice.

With eight out of 14 SC justices voting in favor of the quo warranto petition, Sereno's appointment will be considered null and void, effectively scrapping the impeachment trial. The decision is immediately executory, said SC spokesperson Theodore Te.

Complainants Eligio Mallari and Dante Jimenez of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) filed the first the impeachment complaint against of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno at the House of Representatives.

Renato Corona was impeached in 2011 for betraying the public trust and committing culpable violation of the Constitution.

He added that the petition could even be considered by Sereno as "an act of kindness to a fellow lawyer" since it would spare her from the "indignity" of an impeachment.

Sereno has been a staunch critic of Duterte and more specifically the drug war.

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"Accordingly ... Sereno is ousted and excluded therefrom".

Sen. Francis Pangilinan also says Congress should insist on its exclusive constitutional role to remove key officials like her through impeachment.

The Judicial and Bar Council will then be mandated to start the nomination process for the selection of a new chief justice.

"The ouster of our chief justice - this foundation of democracy, this shield against abuse of power in government - has crumbled", it said in a statement.

"Today is not the end, but only the beginning", she told supporters outside the tribunal's compound after the vote. "This decision is wrong".

Sereno has been at loggerheads with President Rodrigo Duterte and has urged Filipinos to stand up to his authoritarian rule. Sereno denies the allegation and did not participate in the vote. Anti-Sereno protesters also gathered outside the building.

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