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Doing CJ a favor

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno is hanging tough on her post but her adhesive hold will be put to the test with Solicitor General Jose Calida’s petition for the Supreme Court to initiate a quo warranto proceeding.
Calida said in a briefing last Monday he is actually doing Sereno a favor to spare her from the ordeal that the late former Chief Justice Renato Corona endured in the Senate impeachment trial.
The Senate is ready for a trial on Sereno as Senate President Koko Pimentel said the robes of the senator justices are already in the tailor shop.
A quo warranto proceeding is premised on the view that Sereno should not have qualified as a candidate for the highest judiciary post which translates to her appointment from former President Noynoy Aquino being void from the start, since the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC)’s shortlist is invalid from the start, as the list is marked with fraud.
The view that Sereno is a “de facto” Chief Justice was subscribed to by Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta who said during the House impeachment hearing that Sereno’s appointment was void from the start since, among others, she failed to comply with the requirement of the 10-year rule on the filing of Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Networth (SALNs) to qualify as SC member.
SC Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro added that her appointment was “unfair to other contenders”.
During the House hearings, it was found that Sereno failed to submit her SALNs for several years from 1986 to 2006 when she was a professor at the UP College of Law.
Aside from her SALNs for 2006, 2009, 2010, and 2011 which she submitted in her applications for Associate Justice and Chief Justice, Sereno only filed SALNs for the years 1998, 2002, and 2006 during her tenure as law professor at the UP College of Law from 1986 up to 2006. Moreover, she submitted to the JBC two unsubscribed SALNs, which information was kept hidden by the JBC.
Sereno was nominated to the positions of Associate Justice and Chief Justice despite her failure to file her SALNs which were required to determine whether she passed the constitutional requirement of integrity, the OSG said in the petition.
Calida’s petition seeks to “declare as void” Sereno’s appointment on August 24, 2012 as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines; and to oust the CJ from the Supreme Court of the Philippines.
Rule 66 of the Rules of Court on quo warranto gives government lawyers the authority to question a void and defective appointment.
Calida cited the 2010 Rules of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal wherein the SC itself allows the filing of an election protest or quo warranto proceedings against an impeachable officer like the president or the vice president of the Philippines.
He said the rules may be applied by analogy as the SC had recognized the availability of quo warranto against an impeachable officer.
The OSG also cited the landmark case of Funa vs Villar wherein the promotion of Commission on Audit Commissioner Antonio Villar was declared illegal and the case of Nacionalista Party vs de Vera, wherein the SC ruled that “a quo warranto proceeding and not prohibition is the proper remedy to inquire into validity of the appointment of then Commission on Elections Chairman Vicente De Vera.”
Calida said the petition was within the 1-year prescription period since it was counted from the time of discovery when Sereno’s failures were exposed at the House of Representatives hearing.
Last Feb. 21, suspended lawyer Eligio Mallari petitioned Calida to initiate a quo warranto proceeding against her.
Mallari stated in his petition that Sereno’s appointment as chief magistrate is now being questioned following the testimonies of several of her colleagues in the House impeachment hearings.
The Chief Justice should consider a gracious exit since she has all but lost the honorable tag in her title.


  • buttergold

    Inocent, PNOYVACLAXIA is, perhaps, more appropriate?

    buttergold Wednesday, 07 March 2018 15:41 Comment Link
  • The Eye

    Sereno, if you are honorable, just quit.

    The Eye Wednesday, 07 March 2018 10:08 Comment Link
  • inocent

    Impeaching or dismissing Sereno as Chief Justice is not only a slap in the face but a bigger slap on the face of PNoyvaxia. It also confirms all the more what an ignorant and bobo PNoy as a president was.

    inocent Wednesday, 07 March 2018 05:18 Comment Link

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