Sereno ousted as Chief Justice

May 12, 2018

In a landmark ruling, the Supreme Court of the Philippines ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno from her position. Voting 8-6, the majority justices granted the quo warranto petition filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida against Sereno on her failure to submit copies of her past Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN). Those who voted to grant the petition were Associate Justices Noel Tijam, who was also the ponente, Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Francis Jardeleza, Samuel Martires, Andres Reyes Jr. and Alexander Gesmundo. Dissenting were Senior Associate Antonio Carpio and Associate Justices Presbitero Velasco Jr., Mariano del Castillo, Estela Bernabe, Marvic Leonen and Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa.

The quo warranto petition has generated controversy and debate as under the 1987 Constitution, a justice of the Supreme Court can only be removed through impeachment. Moreover, under the rules on quo warranto, such a petition can only be filed within one year from the time the cause of action or ouster arose.

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