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ON TARGET

Sereno’s fate is sealed

/ 05:01 AM March 13, 2018

Her colleagues in the Supreme Court are not giving the House of Representatives and the Senate the privilege of ousting Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

The high court justices will dethrone her themselves through a process called quo warranto.

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The dictionary defines quo warranto as an English writ formerly requiring officials to show by what authority they exercise a public office, franchise or liberty.

Initially, eight justices out of 14 want their “first among equals” kicked out of office, according to my sources in the Supreme Court.

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They said a majority decision was enough to oust her.

With the manifesto issued on Monday by the 1,200-strong Philippine Judges Association (PJA), Sereno’s fate is a foregone conclusion.

The PJA manifesto was co-signed by the presidents of Scale (Supreme Court Assembly of Lawyer Employees), PACE (Philippine Association of Court Employees), an umbrella organization of 25,000 court employees nationwide, and SCEA (Supreme Court Employees Association).

Sereno is probably the only Chief Justice in history who is most unpopular and hated by peers and coworkers.

Her appointment came at a time when President Noynoy Kuyakoy, using the power and resources of his office, caused the dismissal of then Chief Justice Renato Corona through impeachment.

As we all know, Noynoy was motivated by revenge: Corona had signed a decision to partition his family-owned Hacienda Luisita and distribute it among tenant farmers.

Sereno is being impeached for the same reason that Corona was dismissed by the Senate: questions arising over the statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).

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The charge sheet against Sereno says that she earned $745,000 from the government as legal fees for the Philippine International Air Terminals Co. Inc. case, but the amount was not reported in her SALN or to the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

* * *

Police don’t normally observe the proper procedure in arresting drug suspects — such as presenting them before barangay officials, media and a representative of the Department of Justice — before bringing them to the station.

Angono, Rizal, policemen didn’t follow procedure when they arrested four “buy-bust” drug suspects last week.

Instead, they summoned a barangay official to the station and showed to him the “evidence” taken from the suspects.

Worse, they even included in the charge sheet a woman who had accompanied her brother, one of those arrested, to the station and took a video of the proceedings.

These are among police abuses that should be addressed by higher authorities.

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TAGS: Maria Lourdes Sereno, On Target, police abuses, police procedure, quo warranto petition, Ramon Tulfo, Sereno impeachment, Supreme Court
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