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11 May 2018, 03:26 | Melissa Porter
Complainants Eligio Mallari and Dante Jimenez of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) filed the first the impeachment complaint against of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno at the House of Representatives.
Voting 8-6, the SC en banc favored the Solicitor General Jose Calida's quo warranto petition, voiding the appointment of Sereno.
"Under the 1987 Constitution, the House of Representatives has "the exclusive power to initiate all cases of impeachment", while the Senate was granted the "sole power to try and decide all cases of impeachment" which would be transmitted by the Lower House".
Former President Benigno Aquino appointed Sereno in 2012.
The Supreme Court gave her camp 10 days to appeal the decision.
The National Union of Peoples' Lawyers (NUPL) said that the decision granting the quo warranto petition does not affect the Chief Justice alone. "Ang araw na ito ang araw ng paglaban", she said.
In a decision penned by Associate Justice Noel G. Tijam, the SC said Sereno "is found disqualified from and hereby adjudged guilty of exercising the office of the Chief Justice".
But the impeachment process has now been pre-empted by the unprecedented vote Friday to remove her from the Supreme Court, sparking legal confusion over what would happen to the votes she cast on cases in the years she led the country's highest court.
Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno's fellow justices have been scheduled to vote Friday on Solicitor-Basic Jose Calida's petition to take away Sereno from the 15-member tribunal for allegedly failing to file statements of property and liabilities as required by regulation prior to now. "We can see if the Chief Justice wants to avail of her last recourse, that is by filing a motion for reconsideration, there is hope", she told CNN Philippines.
Anti-Sereno protesters were sighted along Ma.
Sereno, addressing her supporters hours after the unfavorable decision, said her fight has just begun. She also has been speaking up for the respect of law and human rights, irking Duterte at a time he has led a brutal crackdown on illegal drugs that has left thousands of suspects dead.
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