SC orders Sereno to comment on OSG petition, junks Lozano plea

THE Supreme Court (SC) en banc has directed Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to comment within 10 days on the petition seeking to invalidate her appointment.

In the same en banc session, the SC dismissed another petition filed by lawyer Oliver Lozano last March 1 to oust the Chief Justice "for failing to provide substantial allegations to justify a cause of action."

The decision of the SC came a day after the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) filed a quo warranto petition against the chief magistrate over her failure to comply with the requirements set forth by the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) when she applied for her post in 2012.

According to the SC, Associate Justice Marvic Leonen objected to the en banc ruling on the ground that in his opinion the quo warranto petition should be dismissed outright.

In its petition, the OSG said that Sereno is unlawfully holding her office as her appointment is invalid over her failure to submit her Statement of Assets Liabilities and Networth (SALN) to the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC).

During the hearings conducted by the House committee on justice on the impeachment of Sereno, officials of the JBC confirmed that the Chief Justice was able to submit only three SALNs, far from the 10 SALNs required by the the screening committee.

Sereno was given 10 days to submit her comment.

At the House of Representatives, House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas said there would be no plenary voting on the impeachment complaint against Sereno anytime soon.

Read: No plenary voting on Sereno impeachment, says House leader

Fariñas said he would rather wait for the SC to rule on the quo warranto petition.

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, in a separate interview, said that if the SC rules in favor of the OSG, the impeachment complaint against Sereno would be deemed moot. (SunStar Philippines)
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