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Pag nagiba ang ihip ng hangin! Sereno can return as CJ after Duterte steps down- ex-CJ Panganiban

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Running for senator or retirement are not the only options available to ousted Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno.

Former Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban believes that it was possible for Sereno to regain her seat in Padre Faura with a change in political fortune and patience.

“Despite the Court’s judgment, she still has an arguable claim to the chief magistracy on the theory that the decision is void from the beginning for having been rendered without due process by an allegedly biased majority that had already prejudged her even prior to the filing of the quo warranto petition,” said Panganiban in his column in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

“After having served as an associate justice for two years and chief justice for six, she will turn 58 on July 2 and would have had a remaining term of 12 more years as CJ till 2030. Should political fortunes metamorphose and the Court’s composition change, she could putatively be returned to her post,” he added.

Last May, the SC voted 8-6 to uphold the quo warranto case filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida seeking the disqualification of Sereno for her chronic failure to file her statesments of assets, liabilities and net worth. Last Friday, the SC ruled with finality upholding Sereno’s ouster.

Sereno had previosly sought the inhibition of six of her peers for their bias and for testifying against her in the impeachment hearings in Congress – Associate Justices Samuel Martires, Teresita Leonardo de Castro, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Francis Jardeleza and Noel Tijam.

Panganiban said Sereno’s active presence in public forums could help preserve her “putative claim” to the Chief Justice post as long as she does not run for public office or claim her retirement benefits.

But Panganiban warned that waiting to get back her CJ post would make Sereno vulnerable to criminal and tax cases to be filed against her.

” remember, the Court is not yet finished with her, as she could still be disbarred and/or penalized for contempt for “transgressing the sub judice rule and for casting aspersions and ill motives to the Members of the Supreme Court,” said Panganiban