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MEETING OF JUDGES

Sereno remark unsettles SC justice

07:08 AM March 09, 2018
Maria Lourdes Sereno

Supreme Court Chief Justice on leave Maria Lourdes Sereno attends the 23rd National Convention and Seminar of the Philippine Women Judges Association at the Manila Hotel on Thursday, March 8, 2018 in celebration of Internatinal Women’s Day. INQUIRER PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Thursday called the challenge to her qualification a “gimmick,” drawing rebuke from another female Supreme Court justice on International Women’s Day.

“I’m sorry that the [Chief Justice] has taken this opportunity to discuss a matter that is sub judice (under judicial consideration and therefore prohibited from public discussion elsewhere). We have given her all the courtesy and I sincerely hope that she should not have dealt with the matter which is pending with the court,” Supreme Court Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, president of the Philippine Women Judges Association, said after Sereno delivered a speech during the group’s convention at The Manila Hotel.

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 ‘All sorts of gimmicks’

 

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In her speech, Sereno did not delve into the quo warranto case that Solicitor General Jose Calida had filed in the Supreme Court, questioning her qualification to serve as Chief Justice.

But she said her detractors were resorting to gimmicks in trying to oust her because the impeachment complaint they had brought against her in the House of Representatives was weak.

“After 15 hearings, they have failed to come up with any evidence with which I can be convicted in the Senate,” she said.

“This is why they are resorting to all sorts of gimmicks … to get what they want,” she added.

House witness

The audience applauded after Sereno closed her speech, and she went on to shake hands, including with Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio, Supreme Court Associate Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe, Batangas Rep. Vilma Santos and Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada.

She paused and threw a glance at De Castro, who testified against her in the impeachment hearings at the House, then resumed shaking hands with guests. —JEROME ANING

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TAGS: International Women’s Day, Philippine news updates, Philippine Women Judges Association, Sereno impeachment
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