SUPREME Court spokesman Theodore Te confirmed in a news conference Friday that the high court has dismissed Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, voting 8-6 in favor of the quo warranto petition filed against her by the Office of the Solicitor General.
The order was immediately executory, according to Te.Here follows excerpts from the dispositive portion of the ruling.
“Wherefore the petition for quo warranto is granted, respondent Ma. Lourdes P. Sereno is found disqualified from and is hereby adjudged guilty of unlawfully holding and exercising the office of Chief Justice.
“Accordingly, respondent Maria Lourdes sereno is ousted and excluded therefrom. The position of Chief Justice is declared vacant and the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) is hereby directed to commence the selection and nomination process.
“This decision is immediately executory without needing further action from the court. “
Disbarment to follow?
The high court also gave Sereno 10 days to show cause “why she should not be sanctioned for violating the rule of professional responsibility in the code of judicial conduct for transgressing the sub judice rule and for casting aspersion and ill motives on the members of the Supreme Court.”
Before the ruling, Sereno’s camp has said she will file a motion for reconsideration in case of a ruling against her.
The ruling was greeted with shouts of “goodbye Sereno” from the over a thousand people who massed in front of the SC on Padre Faura St. in Manila.
Supporters of Sereno bewailed the ruling, with one lawyer saying “This is the day justice died.”
The eight votes in favor of disqualifying Sereno came from Justices Teresita Leonardo-De Castro, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Francis Jardeleza, Samuel Martires, Noel Tijam, Andres Reyes Jr. and Alexander Gesmundo.
Voting against her ouster were Justices Antonio Carpio, Presbitero Velasco, Perlas Bernabe, Mariano Del Castillo, Marvic Leonen and Benjamin Caguioa.
The SC voted 9-5 that quo warranto is a proper remedy in ousting Sereno.
The petition filed by the Office of the Solicitor General averred that the appointment of Sereno was void from the beginning over her alleged failure to file all of her statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).