Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno has come under increasing pressure from Malacanang, with the palace spokesman calling on her to step down now to spare the judiciary from further damage, according to The Manila Times Online on Tuesday (Nov 7).
Palace spokesman Harry Roque told the media on Monday that it would be better for Chief Justice Sereno to resign, saying another impeachment trial against her would further damage the Supreme Court.
“I do not think the judiciary can survive another decision that would remove an incumbent chief justice,” said Roque, referring to the removal of Sereno’s predecessor, Renato Corona after his impeachment by the House of Representatives and conviction by the Senate.
“I think it is high time now for the chief justice to reexamine very carefully the effect of another removal from the institution itself,” he added.
Roque issued the statement after Sereno said there was a “resurgence of political forces threatening and harassing the independence of the judiciary.”
On Oct 1, President Rodrigo Duterte challenged both Sereno and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales to resign with him over allegations of corruption.
Days afterward, the House justice committee announced the impeachment complaint against Sereno filed by lawyer Larry Gadon had sufficient grounds.
But Sereno, however, said she is not resigning.