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SolGen Calida hails Sereno ouster: 'Epitome' of judicial independence


 

The ouster of former chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno is the perfect example of the Supreme Court's exercise of its judicial independence, as far as her accuser Solicitor General Jose Calida is concerned.

"The Supreme Court decision ousting Maria Lourdes Sereno augurs well for the country as it preserves the stability and integrity of the Judiciary. This decision is the epitome of its exercise of judicial independence," he said in a statement.

Voting 8-6, the high tribunal made a landmark decision on Friday by ousting Sereno, adjudging her "guilty of unlawfully holding and exercising the Office of the Chief Justice."

Sereno and her supporters have previously called the attempts to remove her from office attacks on judicial independence.

But Calida, the government's chief legal counsel, won this time after the majority of the SC voted to grant his petition for quo warranto, which accuses Sereno of failing the integrity requirement for members of the judiciary for allegedly not filing all her Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth while she was a professor at the University of the Philippines.

The official expressed his gratitude to the "learned" SC justices "for once again upholding the primacy of the Constitution."

"Despite the raucous voices of those pretending to champion the Constitution, the magistrates stayed true to their oath and faithfully adhered to the rule of law," he said.

"Lastly, I implore the Filipino people to continue the fight against those intending to undermine the stability and integrity, not only of the Judiciary, but also of the government as a whole," he added.

Calida is facing charges before the Office of the Ombudsman for graft and violations of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees and the Revised Penal Code. —JST, GMA News

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