GROUPS are set to vigil at the Supreme Court (SC) compound for the duration of its summer sessions in a bid to push the body to decide on the quo warranto petition against chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
The Coalition for Justice (CFJ) led at least 20 groups in support of embattled Sereno as the SC starts their sessions in the Summer Capital, Tuesday (April 3).
The CFJ led a program at the University of Baguio Monday morning attended by religious groups, non-government organizations and peoples groups in support of Sereno.
Leaders travelled from Manila to join in the SC vigil throughout the summer sessions.
Groups include Alitaptap, People’s Power Volunteers for Reform, Democratic Alliance Movement of the Philippines International, Netizens for Conscience and Bravery, Pilipinas kong Mahal, EDSA 30, UPSAMASA, Win for Freedom Movement, The Silent Majority, Bagani, Everywoman, EDSA Prodem and others mostly belonging to the Coalition for Justice joined by groups from Baguio and La Trinidad like the Baguio Prayer Movement, Guiding Light Christian Church, Movement Against Tyranny – Metro Baguio, Tongtongan ti Umili and Integrated Bar of the Philippines – Baguio Benguet.
Mae Lagunday, convenor of the CFJ in a statement said "Chief Justice Sereno represents every Filipino seeking justice. The CFJ reminds the supreme court that in every case, but especially in hers, judges must not only be impartial but also must appear impartial or else they must voluntarily refuse themselves. We call on you as the premier defenders of the constitution to guarantee Chief Justice Sereno the protection it provides. Deliberations on this baseless quo warranto petition have taken too long. Dismiss the petition forthwith. Allow Chief Justice Sereno her day in the Senate impeachment court."
The Integrated Bar of the Philippines statement read by lawyer Allan Mazo, Baguio–Benguet chapter president stressed the chief justice can only be removed from office via Senate impeachment proceedings.
Soc Reyes from Every Woman meanwhile said the filing of a quo warranto petition before the Supreme Court by the Office of the Solicitor General questioning her appointment as a Chief Justice is a desperate attempt to prevent the impeachment trial in the Senate from happening.
“First, quo warranto has a prescription period of one year and the CJ has been in office since August 24, 2012. Second, the quo warranto will be decided by the very Associate Justices who voted for her indefinite leave with no indication that anyone will inhibit from the proceedings," said Reyes.
The Tongtongan ti Umili condemned the quo warranto petition against Sereno tagging the move as an attempt to immediately remove her from her post which court hearing will commence this April during the Supreme Court’s summer session in Baguio City.
Current Solicitor General Jose Calida filed the case to the Supreme Court on Monday to easily railroad her removal in the magistrate. He said this is the suitable procedure in revalidating Sereno’s credibility as the chief justice despite her failure to fully disclose her wealth.