The decision ousting Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno is "immediately executory," the Supreme Court said Friday as it granted the quo warranto petition filed against her by Solicitor General Jose Calida.
"This decision is immediately executory," said lawyer Teodore Te, the SC spokesperson, in a press briefing announcing the high court's decision on Calida's petition.
Reading from the ruling, Te said Sereno "is found disqualified from and hereby adjudged guilty of unlawfully holding and exercising the office of the chief justice."
READ: Statement read by Atty. Theodore Te on historic vote on oust-Sereno petition. pic.twitter.com/otPwXsusVL— Nicole-Anne Lagrimas (@nclagrimas) May 11, 2018
Eight justices voted in favor of granting the petition in a special en banc session while six voted against it.
The SC justices who voted in favor of the quo warranto petition were:
- Teresita Leonardo-De Castro
- Diosdado Peralta
- Lucas Bersamin
- Francis Jardeleza
- Samuel Martires
- Noel Tijam
- Andres Reyes Jr
- Alexander Gesmundo
Those who voted against the oust plea were:
- Antonio Carpio
- Presbitero Velasco
- Perlas Bernabe
- Mariano Del Castillo
- Marvic Leonen
- Benjamin Caguioa
Sereno's camp, meanwhile, said the ruling should not be implemented immediately as there are still other legal remedies available to her.
"Iyon ang katanungan sa aming isip. Bakit ito immediately exeuctory na para bang tinatanggalan kaagad siya ng karapatan na i-excerise ang kanyang [right to file motion for reconsideration]," said Josa Deinla, one of Sereno's spokespersons.
"Hindi pa final at executory ito hangga't may nalalabi pang apela sa porma ng MR. We beg to disagree. Hindi pa natatapos ang laban."
Sereno, newly back at work from a two-month leave, presided over the full court meeting but recused herself from deliberations on the quo warranto pleading.
Latin for "by what authority," quo warranto is a legal remedy that can be initiated against a "person who usurps, intrudes into, or unlawfully holds or exercises a public office, position or franchise."
Sereno, appointed in 2012 by then-President Benigno Aquino III, was ousted for her incomplete submission of her Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) — a requirement in applying for the post.
With Sereno's ouster immediately executory, Te said the chief justice position is "declared vacant" and added that the Judicial Bar and Council has been directed to commence with the application process. —KBK, GMA News