The calls made by members of the judiciary for Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to resign is "far worse than the impeachment and the quo warranto" or the move to render her appointment void, former chief justice Hilario Davide Jr said on Monday, March 12.
She said that resigning will allow "the weight of the office of the Chief Justice to be immediately lifted off my shoulders, freeing me to pursue many things ordinary citizens do". I am determined to wage, 'til the logical end, this battle started by those who seek to undermine the Constitution and the judiciary.
"I will not resign,"Sereno said in a speech at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City on Monday".
The Philippine Supreme Court's chief judge, facing an impeachment complaint in the lower house of Congress and drawing the ire of President Rodrigo Duterte, vowed not to bow down to intense pressure and harassment from "those in power".
"I do not make choices in life on the basis of the easier option but what is the right thing to do".
Sereno, who went an indefinite leave at the urging of 13 of her colleagues at the tribunal so she could prepare for her defense at the impeachment trial before the Senate, however, stressed she would not resign.
Spearheaded by the presidential palace, the calls for Sereno to quit disregard requirements of due process and fairness, the retired chief justice said.
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Voting 38-2, the House justice committee on Thursday found "probable cause" to impeach Chief Justice Sereno.
"We remain neutral. Lisod man ug makontrahan ta (We don't want to be treated like an enemy)", said one judge, who requested not to be named in this story.
Criminal complaints have been filed yesterday before the Department of Justice (DoJ) against five staff members of the Supreme Court (SC) in connection with the alleged anomalous hiring of an over-paid information technology (IT) consultant and for sitting on the claims of retired magistrates. If a third of the House agrees with the impeachment findings, Sereno would be considered impeached and a trial in the Senate would begin.
Gadon, the complainant in the impeachment effort against Sereno, asked state prosecutors to file graft charges against Sereno's chief judicial officer, Ma.
"If they do this to me, the chief justice, they can do this to you all".
"Respondent (Sereno) was appointed as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court although she did not show that she is a person of proven integrity, an indispensable qualification for membership in the judiciary under Section 7 (3), Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution", he said. "Chief Justice Sereno is not an exception", Lacson said in an interview over ANC. He was an appointee of former president Joseph Estrada.
"Maybe, the issue being raised here is the propriety being a former Senate President".