Judiciary groups calling on Sereno to resign

Embattled Philippine Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. – AP

Justice Shah termed as "strange and something to be questioned" the decision of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra to keep out all four of the top five judges of the Supreme Court, other than himself, of all constitutional matters.

PJA is an organization of regional trial court (RTC) with about 1,200 incumbent members nationwide while PACE is a nationwide organization of court employees.

Red Monday would also be done in various trial courts in the country.

On betrayal of public trust, the complaint alleged that, among other things, Sereno: hired an information-technology consultant with an excessive compensation without public bidding; sent a strongly worded but misplaced reply to President Duterte on the judges linked to drugs thereby inviting a head-on collision between the presidency and the Judiciary; and prevented the CA justices to undertake a courtesy call on Duterte. "This is aggravated by the fact that the Court en banc has taken cognizance of the petition for quo warranto and ordered her (Sereno) to file her comment thereto, instead of dismissing it outright". The Court can no longer endure a prolonged environment of this kind. "Its officials and personnel, truly dedicated and conscientious public servants, can not go through another set of hearings and go against each other again at the Senate".

Only two opposition members - Congressman Kit Belmonte of suburban Quezon City in Metro Manila and Congresswoman Arlene Bag-ao of Dinagat Island in Mindanao - disagreed with their peers who are Duterte administration allies, pointing out they found no probable cause to oust Sereno, the first woman to hold the position as chief justice.

Reyes told The Manila Times that Sereno's resignation would spare the judiciary from further attacks.

Under the Constitution, once the House approves the imp0eachment resolution, it would refer it to the Senate which is to constitute itself into an impeachment court to try Sereno.

"Remember that [Sereno's] colleagues will rule [on] her case in the quo warranto petition; it will be awkward already".

"The present Chief Justice's actions may have been exercised in individual capacity, but are indicative of a deeper malaise affecting the Indian judiciary", the former Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court said.

The impeachment case against Sereno, which was endorsed by 25 House members, was filed by lawyer Lorenzo Gadon who admitted being a supporter of then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo now a congresswoman for her home province of Pampanga in Central Luzon.

"Before, under Corona, the judiciary as a family came under attack by others such as Malacañang, the House and the Senate, which is why we, the children, defended Chief Justice Corona", he said in Filipino. "That's why one of them has to leave", he added.

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