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IBP urges high court to dismiss quo warranto against Sereno

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Philippine Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno answers questions by foreign correspondents during a news conference in Quezon City, metro Manila, Philippines, March 9, 2018. REUTERS/Dondi Tawatao

THE Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) on Friday asked the Supreme Court to dismiss Solicitor General Jose C. Calida’s quo warranto petition seeking to void Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P.A. Sereno’s post for lack of merit.

Among its several arguments, the 29-page Opposition-In-Intervention signed by IBP president Atty. Adriel S. Fajardo pointed out that “under the Constitution, impeachment is the only mode of removal of an impeachable office for an impeachable offense.”

According to Mr. Calida, his quo warranto petition is the proper remedy to remove Ms. Sereno — who is also facing impeachment for allegedly failing to disclose her complete wealth — from her post.

The intervention pointed out, however, that “the Quo Warranto Petition is fatally flawed because the allegations therein are clear that the JBC (Judicial and Bar Council) itself did not require the submission of respondent Chief Justice SALNs from 2001 to 2006.”

The IBP is the latest group to publicly call for the dismissal of Mr. Calida’s quo warranto petition, following the interventions filed just the day before, March 22 by party-list coalition Makabayang Koalisyon ng Mamamayan (Makabayan) of the House of Representatives and a group of concerned citizens led by Catholic priest Robert Reyes and farmer-leader Noland Peñas.

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The two groups also used similar arguments in dismissing the petition.

Ms. Sereno in a press statement revealed that the JBC also waived the SALN requirement for other Chief Justice applicants which included Associate Justices Roberto A. Abad, Arturo D. Brion, Teresita L.D. Castro, and Senior Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio.

Mr. Carpio on Friday responded to the revelation by sharing to the media a certificate directly issued by the JBC that stated he had submitted all his SALNs to the organization. — Dane Angelo M. Enerio

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