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Ateneo urges SC to junk Sereno ouster case: How can justices be fair?

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The Ateneo De Manila University has called on the Supreme Court to dismiss the quo warranto petition filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and instead allow the impeachment proceedings to run its course.

In a statement Saturday (April 14), ADMU president Fr. Jose Ramon “Jett” Villarin said the quo warranto petition “circumvents the clear dictates of the Constitution” on how the Chief Justice, an impeachable official, should be removed.

“It should alarm us when several justices who will decide on whether the Chief Justice has sufficiently complied with the requirement are among those who have accused her of wrongdoing in that regard, during hearings conducted by Congress, thus effectively prejudging the matter. How will justice and fairness now prevail?” he asked.

Villarin said ADMU is dismayed and disappointed “at how vicious and malicious the search for accountability has become.”

“It cannot not speak. We ask the justices of the Supreme Court to pause and discern carefully the damage their actions have inflicted on themselves and on the whole of our democratic society. We ask them to let the right process take us to the truth,” he said.

“At this point, the legal and proper process is impeachment and not Quo Warranto. We thus categorically call on the Supreme Court to dismiss the Quo Warranto petition filed against the Chief Justice,” Villarin added.

ADMU’s president said the Supreme Court should be impartial to do its duty to keep each person’s freedoms inviolable and sacred. He noted that the justices wear black robes to signify the seriousness of their task and the absence of bias.

“When this very fundamental belief or practice is threatened, it puts an entire nation at risk,” Villarin said.

Calida filed a quo warranto petition against Sereno over her supposed failure to submit all of her Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth as a professor at the University of the Philippines when she applied for Chief Justice.

The Supreme Court is set to issue decision on the case after receiving the memoranda from Sereno and Calida’s camps within 10 days, on or before April 20.