Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
Medicine | By Douglas Stevenson

Call on Sereno to resign 'far worse than impeachment' - Davide

Call on Sereno to resign 'far worse than impeachment' - Davide

CHIEF Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno declared that she will fight the impeachment charges filed against her. "I refer particularly to recent calls from certain judges and court employees for the chief justice to resign immediately and not await for the results of the impeachment process". I am determined to wage, 'til the logical end, this battle started by those who seek to undermine the Constitution and the judiciary.

In her speech in a forum at the University of the Philippines - Diliman, Sereno said resignation would be the easier way out but it will also mean she does not stand by the rule of law.

Congressman Reynaldo Umali of Mindoro Oriental province in Southern Luzon and the chairman of the House Committee of Justice, said they found "probable cause" to impeach Sereno after holding weekly public hearings for the past five months on the issue.

"I do not make choices in life on the basis of the easier option but what is the right thing to do".

Sereno pointed out that resigning her post "will only serve to erode the independence of the Supreme Court and embolden those who demand a subservient judiciary".

"The (House) Committee on Justice has deprived me of my right to confront and cross-examine witnesses and resource persons arraigned against me is nothing but blatantly illegal", Sereno told the members of the Philippine Women Judges Association during their 23rd annual convention at the Manila Hotel.

On Thursday, Sereno denounced the House justice committee for not giving her the opportunity to face her accusers even as sherequested that her defense lawyers be allowed to cross-examine the witnesses but this was rejected.

"No one can force her to resign if she doesn't want,"Roque said during a Palace news conference".

The complaint will now move to impeachment court in the Senate, although there is no exact date yet when the trial will begin.

The quo warranto case against Sereno was filed by Solicitor General Jose C. Calida for her failure to submit the 10 statements of assets, liabilities and networth (SALNs) required of her when she applied for the position of chief justice.

Davide added: "Who would thereafter believe that the judiciary is the bastion of justice and fairness if the judges themselves deny these to the Chief Justice now?" "Chief Justice Sereno is not an exception", Lacson said in an interview over ANC.

Davide presided over the impeachment trial of former president Joseph Estrada in 2001 on corruption allegations. "With many colleagues in the Senate, he could influence", Lacson said.

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