Judges, lawyers and court employees join force to demand Sereno’s resignation

  • Philippine’s Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno gestures as she delivers a speech at a forum at St. Scholastica’s college in Manila on March 7, 2018. Sereno faces removal from office through impeachment by President Rodrigo Duterte’s congressional allies that critics allege is part of his efforts to silence and destroy critics. / AFP PHOTO / Ted ALJIBE

The biggest league of judges in the Philippines, court lawyers and court employees nationwide gathered at the Supreme Court today (Monday) to demand the resignation of chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to save the judiciary from further humiliation, The Manila Times Online reported today.

The Philippine Judges Association, the 1,000-strong group of regional trial court judges, will lead the call for Sereno to resign. Also joining the resignation call are the Supreme Court Employees Association, the Supreme Court Assembly of Lawyer Employees, the Philippine Association of Court Employees and the Sandiganbayan Employees Association.

Justices and employees wore red as a sign of protest against Sereno during the flag ceremony. After the flag raising ceremony, a statement calling for Sereno’s resignation was read by Erwin Ocson, representing the Supreme Court Employees Association.

Ocson said there was no truth in the report published in other newspapers that the Supreme Court employees were forced to sign the manifesto calling for Sereno to resign.

Marikina Regional Trial Court judge Felix Reyes said that it was time for Sereno to let go to save the judiciary from further humiliation.

He pointed out that it would be an awkward situation for the quo warranto petition to be decided by Sereno’s fellow justices and for some of the justices to testify against Sereno in the Senate impeachment court.

Sereno is expected to have her own gathering of supporters this morning at the University of the Philippines Diliman, where he supporters will wear white shirts.

On Friday, the justice committee of the House of Representatives voted 38-2 to find probable cause to impeach Sereno for corruption and other high crimes, betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution. The committee report will go through a plenary vote this week.