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Let rule of law prevail: ICJ urges SC to reinstate Sereno as Chief Justice

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The Supreme Court (SC) has been urged to bring back ousted chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno if it wants an improvement in the country’s deteriorating rule of law.

The International Commission on Jurists (ICJ) made the call as it is perceived that President Rodrigo Duterte has been behind her ouster.

“Given the perception of political interference and the potential impact of this case on the credibility of the judiciary as a whole, it is imperative that the Court swiftly and fairly consider the Chief Justice’s motion for reconsideration,” said ICJ Asia Pacific Director Frederick in a statement.

Ssereno on Wednesday (May 30) filed a motion for reconsideration asking the SC to nullify its May 11 ruling against her.

The SC en banc voted 8-6 last May 11 to grant the quo warranto petition which sought to void her 2012 appointment as chief justice due to her failure to comply with one of the requirements set by the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) which was her submission of her statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).

The ICJ said the SC ruling was made “on the heels of a series of public statements by President Rodrigo Duterte attacking the Chief Justice, including direct threats to seek her removal from the Court.”

Because of this, the ICJ lamented Sereno’s removal had “contributed to an overall deterioration in the rule of law in the country. “

“Preserving the independence of the judiciary in the Philippines is crucial at a time when the government is credibly alleged to have been engaged in widespread and systematic human rights violations, amounting to crimes under international law,” said Rawski.

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