SC junks Marcos loyalist’s case to oust Chief Justice
Setting aside their differences with Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, members of the Supreme Court on Tuesday tossed out one of the two petitions aimed at banishing her from office.
Theodore Te, the tribunal’s spokesperson, said the justices unanimously decided to junk the pleading filed by lawyer Oliver Lozano, a known loyalist of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, during their weekly full-court deliberations.
“The court resolved to dismiss the petition … for failing to provide substantial allegations to justify a cause of action,” Te said in a press conference.
A court insider said all the 14 magistrates believed that Lozano’s petition “lacked substance” to stand legal scrutiny.
Lozano said unseating the Chief Justice would “preserve the integrity of the judiciary and public faith in the justice system.”
He filed the petition on March 1, or just two days after Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez disclosed he might challenge in the high court the legality of Sereno’s designation.
As if on cue, Solicitor General Jose Calida did exactly what Alvarez wanted to do when he filed a quo warranto petition in the high court on Monday.
In his petition, Lozano urged the tribunal to revoke Sereno’s designation as head of the judiciary “in the paramount interest of public welfare” and to “preserve the independence of the judiciary from Congress.”
“The protracted and scandalous controversy over the validity of Chief Justice Sereno’s appointment and [the] impeachment [complaint] against her have caused deep division and dissension [on] the bench and bar,” he said.
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