Judges, court employees urge public: Keep calm, accept Sereno’s ouster
Just keep calm and accept the ouster of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno from the Supreme Court (SC).
This was the message of judges and court employees to the public on “One SC Red Monday” amid outrage over the ouster of Sereno through a quo warranto proceeding instead of an impeachment trial.
Erwin Ocson, president of the SC Employees Association (SCEA), asserted that “we should follow whatever the majority (of the justices) decides.”
“Irespeto, igalang ‘yung desisyon dahil ‘yun naman ang mandate nila ayon sa Constitution,” Ocson told reporters in a chance interview.
(Respect the decision because that’s their mandate according to the Constitution.)
“Ganoon kasi ang kultura dito (That’s the culture here). We defer to the decision of the court en banc. Kung ano ang majority, ‘yun ang gagawin namin. Susunod lang kami (Whatever the majority decides, that’s what we do. We just follow),” he also said.
Likewise, Ocson, together with leaders of other associations of judges and court employees, issued a statement on the same day stressing that “the real essence of judicial independence” was still alive at the SC.
“We, the judges of the lower courts, and officials and employees of the judiciary, call on the Filipino people to keep calm amid the decision of the Supreme Court on the quo warranto case against the Chief Justice to vote 8-6,” the statement in Filipino read.
“The interpretation and application of the Constitution, laws and rules exclusively belongs to the Supreme Court. Not to the Executive Department. Not to Congress. Not to media. Not to the practicing lawyers and law students. Not to the clergy. Not even to the people,” it stressed.
The statement was signed by Judge Felix Reyes, president of the Philippine Judges Association; Atty. Maria Fe Maloloy-On, president of the Philippine Association of Court Employees; lawyer Rene Enciso, president of the SC Assembly of Lawyer Employees; and Ocson, president of the SCEA.
Sereno was ousted after the Supreme Court voted 8-6 in favor of the quo warranto case filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida over her failure to file her complete statements of assets, liabilities and net worth.
In a quo warranto proceeding, the petitioner challenges the respondent’s right to hold office.
After the SC’s favorable ruling to Calida’s case, Sereno became the first impeachable official of the government to be ousted that did not go through an impeachment trial. /je
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