Sereno quo warranto case ‘fatally flawed,’ IBP tells SC in plea vs CJ ouster
Another petition has been filed with the Supreme Court opposing the move to oust Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno sans impeachment trial.
The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), the mandatory organization of lawyers with over 50,000 members, asked the Supreme Court to dismiss the quo warranto petition filed by the Office of the Solicitor General against Sereno.
A quo warranto is initiated to remove a public officer who is not qualified to his or her position.
Solicitor General Jose Calida, in his petition for quo warranto, said Sereno’s appointment could be considered void for not complying with the requirements set by the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) in submitting 10 statement of assets, liabilities and networth (SALN).
Since Sereno’s appointment was not valid, Calida said the high court chief could be removed like any other unqualified government official.
But the IBP said Sereno’s appointment passed the JBC twice – first when she applied as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court and second when she vied for the post as Chief Justice.
The IBP added that it was also clear that the JBC has waived the SALN requirement for the Chief Justice candidates.
“The quo warranto petition is fatally flawed because the allegations therein are clear that the JBC itself did not require the submission of the respondent Chief Justice SALNs from 2001 to 2006,” the IBP said.
“Therefore, she had no intent of avoiding the constitutional requirement that would purportedly taint her integrity,” the IBP added.
The IBP said that “while evoking a seemingly novel approach, in truth applies a disingenuous reading that can only be deemed legitimate if the text of the Constitution is to be deliberately twisted. This is a dangerous precedent.”
Aside from IBP, the Makabayan bloc from Congress, former Senator Rene Saguisag, cause-oriented groups as well as advocates filed separate petitions to nullify the quo warranto case.
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