Sereno supporters seek SolGen’s resignation over ‘double standard’
Supporters of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Monday demanded the resignation of Solicitor General Jose Calida for rejecting the request of a private citizen to pursue a quo warranto case against Supreme Court Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo de Castro.
In a statement, the Coalition for Justice (CFJ) reminded Calida that De Castro, a fierce critic of Sereno, had failed to present all her statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALNs) to the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) in 2012 when she applied for the position of top magistrate.
Quo warranto proceedings
Sereno’s supposed failure to submit the required SALNs to the JBC before she was appointed to head the judiciary was the reason the Solicitor General cited in initiating quo warranto proceedings against the Chief Justice in the high court.
“What we see here at work is a blatant double standard,” the CFJ said.
“Operating here is a policy of injustice where friends are protected and foes are prosecuted; where lies are spun to defend or attack; where the selective application of law is key,” the group added.
Calida rejected on April 23 the request of Jocelyn Marie Acosta to question the legality of De Castro’s tenure on the high court the way he had challenged Sereno’s appointment.
Not De Castro
He pointed out that it was Sereno, not De Castro, who was designated Chief Justice by then President Benigno Aquino III.
“Your letter … does not advert to any supporting evidence. It is basic that evidence is the means to proof; proof is the result of evidence,” Calida told Acosta in a letter explaining his decision.
But the CFJ said Calida’s reason for turning down Acosta’s request was a “ridiculous, pathetic evasion” of his own argument.
“The issue here is integrity. If Sereno’s probity is being impugned because of a few missing SALNs, which she has proven that she filed, then the same strict standard should be applied to De Castro,” the group argued.
“If Calida cannot accept the fact of Sereno’s substantial compliance, then neither should he accept De Castro’s. It does not matter that she was not appointed [as Chief Justice],” they said.
The Chief Justice is also facing impeachment proceedings in the House of Representatives.
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