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SC gives Calida 5 days to comment on Sereno’s appeal on ouster

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Solicitor General Jose Calida has been asked by the Supreme Court (SC) to comment on the appeal of ousted chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to overturn the ruling removing her from her post.

SC spokesperson Theodore Te said on Tuesday (June 5) that Calida was told to comment over Sereno’s motion for reconsideration “within a non-extendible period of five days from notice.”

Sereno sought in her motion for reconsideration the reversal of the May 11 ruling of the SC en banc which voted 8-6 granting the quo warranto petition of Solicitor General Jose Calida.

The quo warranto petition asked the high tribunal to nullify Sereno’s 2012 appointment as chief justice.

Calida pointed out Sereno can only be considered a de facto chief justice since she failed to submit her statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) which was one of the requirements set by the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC).

In her motion for reconsideration, Sereno insisted that under the Constitution impeachable officers like the chief justice can only be removed through impeachment.

“The unquestionable intent of the Constitution is that impeachable officers like the Chief Justice can only be removed by impeachment,” read the motion for reconsideration.

She also said her right to due process was violated when six of the justices refused to heed her call to inhibit from the quo warranto case.

“This is essentially a plea to the Honorable Court to do what is right and just. And the right and just thing to do, as dictated by the Respondent’s fundamental right to due process, is to disqualify the six Honorable Justices who had lost the impartiality to hear and decide this case; and to reverse the Decision of 11 May 2018,” she said.

Those she sought to be inhibited are among those who voted to grant the quo warranto, namely, Justices Teresita Leonardo-De Castro, Diosdado Peralta, Francis Jardeleza, Noel Tijam, Lucas Bersamin and Samuel Martires.

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