Saturday 26 May, 2018
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Close fight! SC ousts Sereno in 8-6 vote

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In a landmark ruling, the Supreme Court ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno due to her alleged failure to submit all of her Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) when she was a professor at the University of the Philippines College of Law.

Voting 8-6, the Supreme Court ruled in a special en banc session Friday (May 11) that Sereno’s appointment as Chief Justice in 2012 was invalid.

Those who voted to grant the quo warranto petition were Associate Justices Diosdado Peralta, Teresita De Castro, Lucas Bersamin, Noel Tijam, Francis Jardeleza, Andres Reyes, Alexander Gesmundo and Samuel Martires.

The six magistrates who voted against the quo warranto petition were: Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio, and Associate Justices Marvic Leonen, Estela Perlas Bernabe, Mariano Del Castillo, Presbitero Velasco and Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa.

The Supreme Court’s decision is immediately executory.

With Sereno out, the tribunal declared the position of Chief Justice is declared vacant and the Judicial and Bar Council is directed to commence the application and nomination process.

Sereno presided over the special en banc session but recused herself from deliberations in the quo warranto case.

Solicitor General Jose Calida, who filed the quo warranto case against Sereno, argued that she failed to submit all of her SALNs to the Judicial and Bar Council when she applied for Chief Justice.

The JBC, which screens candidates to the judiciary, required applicants for the chief justice post to submit all of their SALNs while in government service.

Sereno taught at UP for 20 years.

In her defense, Sereno said she can only be removed from office if she is convicted in an impeachment trial.

Aside from ousting Sereno, the Ssupreme Court also ordered here to show cause within 10 days from receipt of the decision to explain why she should not be sanctioned for violating the sub judice rule and “for casting aspersions and ill motives” to her former colleagues.

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