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Philippine Supreme Court Removes Duterte 'Enemy', Chief Justice Sereno

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https://www.reuters.com/article/us-philippines-judiciary/philippine-supreme-court-removes-duterte-enemy-judge-idUSKBN1IC0EM

MANILA (Reuters) - The Philippine Supreme Court voted on Friday to remove its top judge, whom President Rodrigo Duterte called an “enemy” for voting against controversial government proposals, citing violations in the way she was appointed.

One opposition party said the ouster of Maria Lourdes Sereno, the country’s first woman chief justice, removed a shield against abuse of power in government and left behind a “puppet Supreme Court”.

By a vote of 8-6, the court granted the government’s petition to cancel Sereno’s appointment on the grounds of alleged violations in the appointment process.

“Maria Lourdes Sereno is found disqualified from, and hereby adjudged guilty of unlawfully holding and exercising, the office of the chief justice,” said court spokesman Theodore Te, who read out the decision.

Sereno is the first chief justice to be removed by her peers and the second top judge to lose the position after her predecessor was impeached for non-disclosure of wealth.

The court declared Sereno’s position vacant with immediate effect and ordered the judicial and bar council to begin a new selection process, Te said.

It gave Sereno a deadline of 10 days after receiving a copy of its decision to explain why she should not be sanctioned for a number of alleged violations, such as “casting aspersions and ill-motive to the members of the Supreme Court”.

Sereno has denied any wrongdoing, and her spokesman said she would appeal the decision. “It is a sad day,” Jojo Lacanilao said in a television interview.

An hour after the decision, Sereno emerged from her office and urged her supporters to “defend the constitution and fight wrongdoing”.

“Let’s continue to spread the message of democracy and reason,” she said.

Duterte’s lawyer Salvador Panelo and government spokesman Harry Roque issued separate statements asking the public to respect the ruling.

The scene outside the court in Manila was calm after the ruling. Crowds of supporters and opponents of Sereno had gathered outside the building before the ruling.

Opposition politicians denounced Sereno’s removal.

Senator Risa Hontiveros called it “a direct stab to the heart of our Constitution”, while her Akbayan party said the country was “a heartbeat away” from the death of its democracy.

“After having a lapdog Congress and a seriously wounded Senate, we now have a puppet Supreme Court,” the party said in a statement.

Duterte has made no secret of his dislike of Sereno.

She voted against several of his proposals, such as extending martial law on a restive island and allowing late dictator Ferdinand Marcos to be buried in a cemetery for national heroes.

In October last year, Duterte dared Sereno to open her bank account to public scrutiny, accusing her of corruption and of being used by his political opponents.

Friday’s decision came before Congress, controlled by Duterte’s allies, returns from its Easter break next week to vote on an impeachment complaint against Sereno.

 
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RangerUp

The reporting is just embarrassing, no mention of what the "violations in the appointment process" were, no mention if she did release her back records as Duterte demanded.

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musicman666

Standards of reporting here are a joke ...they just feed you the facts that support their own bias ...this goes for all news both local and national. 

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savarity

Removed just for allegations?

...ok, whatever.

Sent from my SM-G925V using Tapatalk

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Dafey
4 hours ago, savarity said:

Removed just for allegations?

Should be a heads up for all Expats that think they have a chance in hell at going up against "City Hall" even though they know they are right!

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Dafey

 

Quote

 

Caguioa on Sereno ouster: SC committed suicide without honor

The Supreme Court's decision to oust Chief Justice Maria Lourdes was like committing seppuku — an honorable manner of suicide practiced in Japan — but minus the honor.

This was according to Associate Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa, who in a 64-page dissenting opinion insisted that under Article XI, Section 2 of the Constitution, Sereno could not be removed via the quo warranto plea filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida, contrary to the position of his eight other colleagues who belonged to the majority.

Caguioa, who was joined in the minority by five other justices, lamented how the majority allowed Calida to take a "road less travelled... [because] it is not a sanctioned road."

"The other members of the Court — the Court en banc — are called upon to grin and bear the unbearable as travelling this prohibited road will be at the expense and to the extreme prejudice of the independence of the entire judiciary, the independence of the Court's individual members, and the freedom of discourse within the Court," he said.

"This case marks the time when the Court commits seppuku — without honor," Caguioa added, referring to the Japanese ritual suicide by disembowelment, also called harakiri.

The magistrate expressed "deep shame and regret" over the SC's decision — which the tribunal said was immediately executory — to grant Calida's plea.

"No matter how dislikable a member of the Court is, the rules cannot be changed just to get rid of him, or her in this case," Caguioa said.

Caguioa said even if, for argument's sake, quo warranto is available in Sereno's case, the non-submission or incomplete submission of her SALN — used by Calida as basis for his oust plea — is not a valid ground under the Constitution to question her eligibility as Chief Justice.

Likewise, the one-year prescriptive period for the  filing of quo warranto had already lapsed a year after her appointment and assumption of office in 2012.

Questions on the Judicial Bar and Council's (JBC) determination of Sereno as being qualified for the post should be raised through a certiorari before her appointment, and not through a quo warranto, Caguioa added.

As to the certifications secured by Calida from the University of the Philippines Human Resources Development Office (UP HRDO) and the Office of the Ombudsman showing Sereno's alleged non-filing of her SALN, Caguioa said they "have already been destroyed by the discovery of other SALNs filed that were not found in the custodian's possession."

Caguioa said the certifications only proved that her SALNs were not in Sereno's files, but do not constitute proof as to the question of whether she had not filed her SALNs.

He said that according to the revised rules of the JBC in 2016, the submission of SALNs does not even constitute proof of a person's integrity.

The JBC only included it as a requirement in "reaction to the Congress' exercise of its wisdom that non-inclusion of assets in SALN was an impeachable offense."

"By ousting the Chief Justice through the expediency of holding that the Chief Justice failed this ‘test’ of integrity, it is actually the Court that fails," Caguioa lamented.

Caguioa said Calida's decision to run to the Supreme Court proved that the grounds for Sereno's impeachment "rest on shaky grounds."

"Understanding the inherent weakness of the grounds of impeachment and the improbability of ouster through the mode constitutionally provided, the Solicitor General has effectively shopped for a different forum to seek the Chief Justice's ouster," he said.

"This is not a road less travelled — it is a prohibited alleyway that, regrettably, the Court is now allowing passage through," he added.

Impeach hearings

Caguioa said the complaints raised against Sereno during the impeachment proceedings at the House of Representatives were all "internal matters" actionable within existing laws and could be resolved "within its own walls."

"The need to ventilate these matters before another forum is a disservice to the institution and to the individual members of the Court," Caguioa said.

"For the Court to now turn around and oust the Chief Justice on its own, without any constitutional basis, is an even greater disservice," he added.

Among those who  testified against Sereno in the House proceedings were fellow magistrates Teresita Leonardo-De Castro, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Francis Jardeleza, and Noel Tijam. Sereno had tried but failed to make them inhibit from the quo warranto case.

"This case is nothing more than cheap trickery couched as some gaudy innovation. Thus, in disposing of this case, it does not take a lot to state plainly the truth; it takes infinitely more effort to hide and bury it," Caguioa said. — MDM, GMA News


 

https://www.msn.com/en-ph/news/world/caguioa-on-sereno-ouster-sc-committed-suicide-without-honor/ar-AAx9hz4?li=AAb280R&ocid=spartandhp

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Dafey

And this...

 

Quote

 

IBP eyes to have Sereno ouster reversed

The mandatory organization for all Philippine lawyers is looking at having the Supreme Court (SC) decision ousting Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno reversed.

While the group has yet to receive a copy of the landmark decision, Abdiel Dan Elijah Fajardo, president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), said they’ve got “an eye towards seeking its reconsideration or reversal.”

“This is pursuant to our position that only the Senate, assembled as an impeachment court, has the power to dismiss an incumbent Justice of the Supreme Court on questions pertaining to his or her alleged lack of integrity,” he said in a statement.

The IBP earlier sought to intervene in Solicitor General Jose Calida’s petition for quo warranto, the pleading which unseated Sereno as the 24th Chief Justice of the SC, so they could formally oppose it.

The intervention plea was “noted” by the SC.

Voting 8-6, the high tribunal granted on Friday Calida’s petition, which sought to nullify Sereno’s appointment as top magistrate in 2012 for her alleged failure to meet the integrity requirement of members of the judiciary.

This decision “disqualifies,” “ousts,” and “excludes” Sereno from the Office of the Chief Justice.

Sereno is expected to file an appeal. —VDS, GMA News

 

 

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Dafey

More still...

Quote

 

SC to Sereno: Why shouldn't you be punished for 'casting ill motives' on justices?

Maria Lourdes Sereno, who on Friday was ousted as chief justice of the Supreme Court, also has to explain why she should not be punished for allegedly casting "ill motives" to her former colleagues in the high tribunal.

In its decision, the justices of the SC also ordered Sereno to show cause within 10 days from receipt of notice why she should not be sanctioned for violating the Code of Professional Responsibility and the Code of Judicial Conduct on the following grounds: "transgressing the sub judice rule and for casting aspersions and ill motives to the Members of the Supreme Court."

Voting 8-6, the SC granted Solicitor General Jose Calida's petition for quo warranto, which sought the invalidation of Sereno's appointment to the highest judicial post in 2012.

Meanwhile, nine out of the 14 justices voted that quo warranto is the proper remedy to oust Sereno. —JST, GMA News

 

 

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InternetTough

Is Duterte really popular, or are people just trying to avoid attention?

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RedRanger
2 hours ago, InternetTough said:

Is Duterte really popular, or are people just trying to avoid attention?

I am big fan on his. Most everyone I know look up to the guy and respects him.

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GwapoGuy
Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, musicman666 said:

Standards of reporting here are a joke ...they just feed you the facts that support their own bias ...this goes for all news both local and national. 

Could it be that four journalists were murdered last year and another one last week? DU30 has waged an all out war on the media!

https://rsf.org/en/philippines

Edited by GwapoGuy

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max111

When next president enters the office, we will know how good/bad Duterte is/was.

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Headshot
59 minutes ago, max111 said:

When next president enters the office, we will know how good/bad Duterte is/was.

If Duterte pushes through his entire agenda, the next president will be a prime minister. The constitution will have been changed to reflect a parliamentary form of government. As far as popularity goes, a good indicator is that there are more DU30 bumper stickers on vehicles now than there were during the election. That is unheard of.

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colemanlee
8 hours ago, Headshot said:

a good indicator is that there are more DU30 bumper stickers on vehicles now than there were during the election. That is unheard of.

And he is doing a better job than anybody I can remember and I have been here off and on through every administration since Marcos (flying in and out during martial law times) Perhaps a President that is actually doing something is a reason for the bumper stickers and the popularity?

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RedRanger
21 hours ago, Headshot said:

If Duterte pushes through his entire agenda, the next president will be a prime minister. The constitution will have been changed to reflect a parliamentary form of government. As far as popularity goes, a good indicator is that there are more DU30 bumper stickers on vehicles now than there were during the election. That is unheard of.

Nobody really knew much about him out side of Davao area.  Now they get to see he is the real deal

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