Philippine Supreme Court removes Duterte 'enemy' judge

Manila Ousted Philippine supreme court chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno addresses hundreds of supporters after her removal.—AP

Manila Ousted Philippine supreme court chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno addresses hundreds of supporters after her removal.—AP

In its decision Friday that ousted Sereno in an 8-6 vote, the SC declared vacant the post of Chief Justice and ordered the JBC - the constitutionally mandated office that accepts, screens, and nominates appointments to the judiciary - "to start the application and nomination process".

In a statement, IBP president Abdiel Dan Elijah Fajardo stressed that the group stands firm that a member of the SC can only be removed through impeachment and not by a quo warranto petition.

The Judge of the top court said that he was compelled to write this, for he would have felt a burden on his conscience had he not done so.

Sereno has consistently voted against Duterte's more dictatorial proposals, including extensions of martial law in the country's southern regions, and has been vocally critical of the authoritarian "strongman" approach of Duterte to the presidency. The IBP seeks the reversal of the landmark ruling.

Following demands from the executive branch, Manila's Supreme Court voted Friday to remove the nation's top judge - appointed by the previous administration - labeled an "enemy" by Duterte after consistently voting against the president's policies, including the use of torture and mass killing to stem the country's rampant drug trade.

In Jardaleza's case, Sereno accused him of calling her a traitor; describing her actions during her nomination as CJ as "not those of a normal person"; and his lingering negative characterization of her four years after she blocked his nomination to the Supreme Court.

Among those who voted in favor of Calida's petition were Tijam, associate justices Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Diosdado Peralta, Andres Reyes Jr., Lucas Bersamin, Samuel Martires, Alexander Gesmundo, and Francis Jardeleza. He said impeachment removes qualified impeachable officers while quo warrantoousts unqualified public officials.

Sereno is facing a separate impeachment bid in the House of Representatives, which is dominated by Duterte's allies.

Pangilinan, who heads the opposition Liberal Party, says "what the majority in the Supreme Court did was a mockery of the constitution".

Sereno's spokesman said she would appeal the decision.

Following the move, Sereno released a statement urging Filipinos to "defend the constitution and fight wrongdoing", cited by The Guardian. "Let's continue to spread the message of democracy and reason".

By having forced Sereno's ouster, however, Duterte has further isolated himself and has generated a potentially fatal political crisis.

She also has been speaking up for the respect of law and human rights, referring to Duterte's brutal crackdown on illegal drugs that has left thousands of suspects dead. Her predecessor, Renato Corona, was impeached by the House in 2011.

Recommended News

  • Man and boy, 7, critically injured in plane crash in Offaly

    Man and boy, 7, critically injured in plane crash in Offaly

    The pilots is understood to be a United Kingdom national who was visiting the Irish Parachute Club. Another local man, Jimmy Slattery , witnessed the crash while out walking his dog.
    Maclaren hat-trick in fantastic  Scottish 10-goal thriller

    Maclaren hat-trick in fantastic Scottish 10-goal thriller

    Hibs led 3-0, trailed 5-3 and eventually grabbed an injury time equaliser to finish it 5-5 against 10-man Rangers . I can't believe I'm saying this, but we needed the fourth. "It just sums our season up".
    Maile's walk-off blast leads Jays past Red Sox

    Maile's walk-off blast leads Jays past Red Sox

    The Yankees acquired Gray from the A's before last year's trade deadline for outfielder Dustin Fowler and two minor leaguers. Jays third baseman Russell Martin tags out Boston's Christian Vazquez on a steal attempt during the seventh inning.
  • Govt will complete full term in Goa: Shah

    Govt will complete full term in Goa: Shah

    There is repeated instability in Goa, where Governments come and go. "I told Parrikarji to take care of his health". He said the BJP's "soul" lies in its booth workers who are the focal point of the party.
    Tropical system developing in the gulf, New Orleans impact not expected

    Tropical system developing in the gulf, New Orleans impact not expected

    So I'm not expecting an all day steady rain, but I would be prepared for possible rainy periods, including a few heavy downpours. While severe thunderstorms aren't expected, he said, there is potential for flooding in urban areas.
    Buttler makes easy work of Mumbai to lift Royals to fifth place

    Buttler makes easy work of Mumbai to lift Royals to fifth place

    Rajasthan though, will need more from the other batsmen, Rahane included, as Buttler can not be expected to do the job every time. Suryakumar Yadav has been in good form and is giving Mumbai Indians a solid start time and again but he needs support from Lewis.
  • Levante defeat Barcelona to end unbeaten run

    Levante defeat Barcelona to end unbeaten run

    It was the first time Barca had conceded five goals in a Liga game since they were beaten 5-1 at Malaga in December 2003. Bardhi soon grabbed his second of the game to make it 5-1 and it appeared the game was up for the beleaguered visitors.
    40 percent of moms fake their reaction to their Mother's Day gift

    40 percent of moms fake their reaction to their Mother's Day gift

    But my mom's always been that one that's just been, you know that she cares for me and I can always feel that unconditional love. You are awesome , you were there when we needed you, treated us like we were the best even when we felt like we were the worst.
    Conte accepts Chelsea's Champions League hopes are fading

    Conte accepts Chelsea's Champions League hopes are fading

    After the game, Hazard gave Chelsea fans a bit more to cheer about in a post-match interview with SFR Sport . Last season, if I remember, United finished sixth and Arsenal fifth. "This season he did a fantastic job".
  • Gotham renewed by FOX for an abbreviated fifth and final season

    Gotham renewed by FOX for an abbreviated fifth and final season

    The final season will focus on Bruce Wayne's transformation into the caped crusader. Indeed, syndication can be a lucrative venture, and no doubt Warner Bros.
    Petrol, diesel prices hiked after Karnataka elections

    Petrol, diesel prices hiked after Karnataka elections

    The revision in petrol and diesel prices comes just two days after voting was held for the Karnataka assembly election. Meanwhile in Kochi, the price of petrol has become Rs. 77.52 per litre, while that of diesel is Rs. 70.56 per litre.
    France condemns United States  move to re-impose Iran sanctions

    France condemns United States move to re-impose Iran sanctions

    The Chinese experience in circumventing the earlier sanctions will come in handy with Beijing rejecting US President Donald J. Now EU officials say they are revamping the statute to avoid the latest U.S. restrictions on firms doing business with Iran.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.