Ex-CJ Sereno sees self not as Senator but ‘fighting for democracy’

MANILA -- Former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno does not see herself running as Senator but "focus on fighting for democracy".

"Ang mga bagay na iyan ay hindi ko pa pinag-iisapan. Ang importante ay ipunin lahat ng pwersa or lakas ng bayan na maaring makatulong para maadvance ang democracy natin. (I am not thinking about those things. What is important is that we gather our forces that can help in advancing our democracy.)," Sereno said in an interview after the Supreme Court voted 8-6 to unseat her by granting the quo warranto petition filed against her by Solicitor General Jose Calida on Friday.

A quo warranto is a legal proceeding that challenges a person's right to hold an office or a governmental privilege.

The high court, though, has given Sereno 15 days to file a motion for reconsideration.

Under the Rules of Court, Sereno may still file a motion for reconsideration within 15 days, especially since she would need only a concurring vote to switch sides and reverse the decision.

Sereno said she is not thinking whether or not her motion will reverse the decision, but promised to "do what is right".

"It's not up to my optimism or pessimism. Just do what is right. Just fight," she said.

Sereno said she could not say the exact contents of her appeal yet, as she had not received her copy of the court's decision as of this writing.

After the court ruling, Sereno faced her supporters and said a coalition was created by volunteer organizations to join her in fighting for the right of the Judiciary to be independent.

On Friday, the SC voted 8-6 to grant the quo warranto petition that sought to void Sereno's 2012 appointment as chief justice, as she failed to submit her Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) before the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC), which set the requirement for applicants.

The JBC is the one tasked to screen applicants seeking positions within the judiciary, including the seat of chief justice.

Upon issuing the decision on Friday, the high court declared the position of the Chief Justice vacant and that the Judicial and Bar Council should begin the application and nomination process for Sereno's replacement.

"The decision is immediately executory without the need of further action from the Court," the decision said.

The Supreme Court also gave Sereno 10 days to explain why she should not be sanctioned for her alleged violations.

Source: Philippine News Agency

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