SC ousting Sereno a ‘done deal’ — sources

GOING DOWN? Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno

SUPREME COURT (SC) Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno will be unseated by her colleagues in the SC, two court insiders cited by the Philippine Daily Inquirer claimed Tuesday.

The newspaper quoted the sources as saying that “the chief justice’s removal from office is a foregone conclusion. It’s a done deal.”

“It seems only a miracle of biblical proportions could prevent this historic event. I don’t know how Sereno could still dodge this,” added the source.

Sereno is facing a quo warranto disqualification case before the SC whose proceeding will resume on May 11.

Void ab initio

The petition averred that Sereno’s appointment as CJ was void from the start because of alleged infirmities in her submission of statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALNs).

Sereno’s dismissal by the SC will render moot and academic the impeachment proceeding against her by the House of Representatives on the complaint that she committed culpable violations of the constitution.

The handwriting on the wall on the SC removing Sereno may have become apparent with a number of SC associate justices testifying against her before the House Justice Committee which found probable cause to indict her.

Among the issues raised against her by the SC justices who testified before the House panel, during its determination of probable cause against Sereno, was her alleged changing of the spirit and wording of SC decisions.

She was also blamed by Court Administrator Midas Marquez for the delay in the release of the benefits of retired court judges and justices.

Red has been the color of protest against Sereno in the SC and many justices and court employees have been coming to flag ceremonies in red.

On leave

The desperation of Sereno’s supporters to avert her being unseated via the quo warranto proceeding has also become clear with their pressing for a full blown impeachment trial before the Senate.

The late Renato Corona was unseated as CJ in 2012 when the Senate sitting as an impeachment court found him guilty of not declaring some properties in his SALN.

Sereno, the first female CJ, is presently on leave from the SC.