Sereno’s leave exposes ‘cracks’ in SC, says NUPL | Inquirer News

Sereno’s leave exposes ‘cracks’ in SC, says NUPL

By: - Reporter / @JLeonenINQ
/ 07:18 PM February 27, 2018

Reports of the “indefinite” leave of absence of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno from her duties have exposed the “widening” cracks in the Supreme Court (SC), the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) said on Tuesday.

According to a court insider, Sereno decided to take a leave of absence starting Thursday, March 1, after an SC en banc session wherein her fellow magistrates raised the allegations in the impeachment case against her.

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“If the reports are accurate, we seriously regret that the concerned Justices have prejudged the impeachment proceedings that is yet to be concluded at the House of Representatives or of a possible trial in the Senate,” NUPL chairman Neri Colmenares said in a statement.

“If true, this exposes the widening cracks in the institution which impact on the independence of the Judiciary, the Court’s very integrity, and ironically, on respect for the Constitution apparently because of political designs, personal considerations, or convenient acquiescence to the dark side,” he stressed.

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READ: Sources say Sereno to go on ‘indefinite’ leave but CJ’s camp refutes it

Moreover, Colmenares said that the SC justices have “practically impeached” Sereno by asking her to go on leave.

“Worse, the said Justices have practically impeached their own colleague, instead of letting the process take its course in accordance with the Constitution they swore to uphold and to stand as supposed symbols of law and justice,” he said.

“The losing party here is not the Chief Justice nor any Justice of the Court. It is also not the Court or the entire judicial system. It is the residual faith of the people in already unresponsive institutions whose roles are being wilted away, willingly or unwillingly, to de facto authoritarianism,” the NUPL chair lamented.

In response to reports of her “indefinite leave,” Sereno’s camp said that the Chief Justice was merely going to take a “wellness leave.”

“Not indefinite. Duration is March 1 to 15. It has already been scheduled from March 15 to 23 but she is advancing it so she can prepare for her defense at the Senate,” Atty. Josa Deinla, one of Sereno’s spokesperson said in a text message. /je

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TAGS: impeachment case, Justice, Leave, NUPL, Sereno, Supreme Court
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