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Sereno lawyer belittles 6 SC justices’ testimonies

/ 01:02 PM January 21, 2018

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. INQUIRER PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno’s camp slammed anew her critics’ alleged “squeeze play” as an attempt to make her resign as her lawyer belittled the testimonies of six associate justices as having little effect on the impeachment case against her.

Sereno’s Lawyer Jojo Lacanilao said that despite the attempts to put the Chief Justice in a bad light, including her supposed lack of support among her colleagues in the SC, she would “continue to fight for judicial independence.”

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“Officials of Congress have already asked her (Sereno) to resign. We feel it’s below the belt. This is just a squeeze play for her to resign,” Lacanilao said in an interview on ANC’s Headstart, Friday.

“That’s not going to happen. She will be there. We will ask Congress to actually prove any complaint that they have and (we will face them) in the Senate, and we know we have a strong case,” Lacanilao said.

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He said the testimonies of at least six incumbent SC justices had no bearing in the impeachment case because these were purely personal opinions and were not grounds to remove Sereno from office.

“Most of the things they have said are disagreements with the Chief Justice on how the rules of the Supreme Court would be interpreted. Some of them are complaints about management or maybe leadership style,” Lacanilao said.

According to Lacanilao, “It is of public knowledge that some people are out to destroy the Chief Justice” as she “leapfrogged over other senior associate justices to become the head of the judiciary for 18 years or until she reaches the mandatory retirement age of 70.”

“We feel like this is a problem with the independence of the Supreme Court now because they (justices) have gone to Congress and laid themselves out,” Lacanilao pointed out.

“In fact, many of them appeared in public and did not appear well. The mystique, mystery of being a Supreme Court justice is gone because some of these justices have already come out and show they are also weak and show they have personal grudges they cannot overcome. They have personal issues against the Chief Justice,” he added.

The House of Representatives justice panel deliberates the probable cause of the impeachment case against the top magistrate.

Lawyer Lorenzo Gadon is accusing Sereno of culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of public trust, corruption and other high crimes. /cbb

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TAGS: chief justice, Impeachment, Jojo Lacanilao, Maria Lourdes Sereno, news, Supreme Court
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