Rights group calls for judicial independence amid Sereno ouster

Rights group calls for judicial independence amid Sereno ouster

Sereno's supporters argued that the submission of an applicant's SALNs is not absolute requirement since it is not mentioned in the 1987 Constitution as qualification for a member of the Supreme Court.

Philippines Supreme Court justices, in a historic decision Friday, removed their own chief justice, Maria Lourdes Sereno, a known critic of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The House Justice committee opened the impeachment proceedings against Sereno and determined the impeachment complaint filed by Gadon "sufficient in form and substance" while dismissing the one filed by Jimenez.

After the SC's official announcement of the ruling, Sereno immediately stepped out of the SC building and spoke to her supporters.

The House panel, voting 33-1, approved articles of impeachment vs. Sereno.

"The reputation and esteem of this present Supreme Court will now rise or fall on the basis of the soundness or unsoundness of this controversial decision upholding a very unusual remedy to oust a sitting Chief Justice", he said.

"It primarily affects the entire nation as the Supreme Court literally sprawled the red carpet for dictatorial rule".

TRT World spoke Ana Santos in Manila.

Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma said that it's a "sad day for the separation of power and democratic system".

Once an independent judicial leader like Sereno, who acts as checks and balances to the executive branch of government, is ousted, "there will be no more balance of power".

More news: Walmart's big gamble on India
More news: 1 injured, 1 detained in shooting at California high school, deputies say
More news: May Cancels Brexit Cabinet, Avoids Parliament as Fight Rages On

The ruling appears to bring the Philippines closer to what the opposition and human rights groups claim is quickly becoming a dictatorship as Duterte continuing to crack down on opposition lawmakers, judges, and media.

And so, I say today, our one and only Supreme Court promulgated its decision on the quo warranto petition just in time to spare us from further torment.

Ozamis Archbishop Martin Jumoad said: "We urge our people to stay calm and more prayers for the Holy Spirit to enlighten all of us".

The National Union of Peoples' Lawyers (NUPL) said that the decision granting the quo warranto petition does not affect the Chief Justice alone. She says she was ready to defend herself if the impeachment case reached the Senate for trial.

Duterte has sought the removal of Sereno and a top anti-graft prosecutor, Conchita Carpio-Morales, accusing them of allowing themselves to be used to discredit his administration. In the Supreme Court archives, there is a landmark decision naming the senators who took the bribe and detailing the payoffs. "I am putting you on notice that I am now your enemy", he said. "After having a lapdog Congress and a seriously wounded Senate, we now have a puppet Supreme Court". Renato Corona was impeached in 2011 for betraying the public trust and committing culpable violation of the Constitution.

Nonetheless, Sereno showed a courageous face and told her supporters: "The fight doesn't end here, as it has just begun".

Sereno has denied any wrongdoing.

Worldwide rights groups and local critics have accused the 73-year-old Duterte of drifting toward authoritarianism after declaring martial law in the south amid a major attack by pro-Islamic State group militants last year.

Later, she voted against his decision to declare martial law in the southern part of the country, where Islamist militants had taken control of the city of Marawi.

Related Articles

  • Trump seeks to make pharmaceutical companies competitive, lower drug prices

    Trump seeks to make pharmaceutical companies competitive, lower drug prices

    As a candidate, Trump railed against the pharmaceutical industry, accusing companies of " getting away with murder ". Democrats have seized on drug prices as a possible point of weakness for Republicans in the mid-term elections.
    Iranian Foreign Minister to Visit China, Russia, EU to Discuss JCPOA

    Iranian Foreign Minister to Visit China, Russia, EU to Discuss JCPOA

    In exchange, worldwide sanctions imposed on Iran because of its alleged pursuit of a nuclear arsenal have been lifted. The JCPOA provides Tehran with relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear program.
    Poll your friends with the new Instagram emoji slider!

    Poll your friends with the new Instagram emoji slider!

    Those viewing the Emoji Slider can slide the emoji from low to high, depending on what you ask as the question. When you see an emoji question in one of your friend's stories, drag the emoji left or right to respond.
  • Gwyneth Paltrow Leaks Big Avengers 4 Spoiler That Changes Everything

    Gwyneth Paltrow Leaks Big Avengers 4 Spoiler That Changes Everything

    According to The Hollywood Reporter , four-time Oscar-nominated actress Annette Bening has joined the film's cast. We've got Ant-Man, Spider-Man and now, let us introduce you to the newest Avengers , Spoiler Alert-Man.
    Trump knew of harassment allegations against NY AG years ago, says lawyer

    Trump knew of harassment allegations against NY AG years ago, says lawyer

    Gleason, who misspelled Schneiderman's name throughout his letter, didn't name the women he said had approached him. Trump as evidenced by a phone call I received from attorney Michael Cohen ", Gleason wrote to the judge.
    Hardline Preacher Beats GOP Rep., Boosting Dems In Another House District

    Hardline Preacher Beats GOP Rep., Boosting Dems In Another House District

    The polls are open from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. tonight and there are big races in Guilford, Randolph, and Davidson counties. Today is the Primary Election which means some candidates will also take on opponents in the General Election on November 6.
  • Can't interfere: SC dismisses plea seeking probe into Sridevi's death

    Can't interfere: SC dismisses plea seeking probe into Sridevi's death

    Sridevi , 54, died of "accidental drowning" on February 24 inside her suite at a luxury hotel in Dubai. Singh had approached the apex court after his petition was rejected by the Delhi High Court.
    Palestinians injured by Israeli forces at Gaza border

    Palestinians injured by Israeli forces at Gaza border

    A spokesman said: "IDF troops are responding with riot dispersal means and are firing in accordance with the rules of engagement". There are about 2 million Palestinians living in Gaza, and two thirds of them are either refugees or the descendants of refugees.
    Champions League will spur Tottenham transfers - Kane

    Champions League will spur Tottenham transfers - Kane

    Tottenham Hotspur can end their tenure at Wembley Stadium with an impressive third-place Premier League finish. It was a massive job to achieve what we achieved this season despite so many things being against us.
  • Finalists of 63rd Eurovision Song Contest announced

    Finalists of 63rd Eurovision Song Contest announced

    With seven victories, Ireland is the most successful country at the contest , but finished in last place at the final in 2013. At this stage though, we're happy with getting into the final after five years of just missing out on it.
    Reds-Harvey's New Home

    Reds-Harvey's New Home

    I obviously wasn't able to perform the way I wanted to and the way I was expecting to. "I'm looking forward to my opportunity". BC-BBN-Reds-Harvey's New Home, 143 Red Alert: Harvey starts Friday for Cincy at Dodger StadiumAP Photo NY173Eds: APNewsNow.
    Volcano forces closure of popular Hawaii park

    Volcano forces closure of popular Hawaii park

    A volcano in Hawaii , threatening to blow its top, has been sputtering lava for a week, and it's left some devastating results. The heavy clouds of smoke coming from the main crater on Wednesday were likely triggered by a rock fall from the crater walls.