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One opposition party said the ouster of Ms Maria Lourdes Sereno, the country's first female chief justice (CJ), removed a shield against abuse of power in government and left behind a "puppet Supreme Court".

Before the vote, dozens of Sereno's supporters held a vigil outside the court in the capital, Manila, demanding that the petition be thrown out and that she face trial in the Senate. The Republic accordingly seeks the nullification of respondent's appointment, asserting that her failure to file the required disclosures and her failure to submit the same to the Judicial and Bar Council show that she is not possessed of "proven integrity" demanded of every aspirant to the Judiciary.

Theodore Te clarified that while the vote was 8-6 granting the petition, the justices held a separate voting on the issue of whether or not quo warranto is the proper remedy applicable to Sereno's case considering she is an impeachable official.

Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, a key ally of Duterte, agreed with Sereno and urged the Supreme Court to review its decision, saying it's "not infallible in everything".

"I will not hesitate to do what is in the best interest of my country". One of the justices who opposed the petition, Marvic Leonen, called it "a legal abomination" that should have been dismissed outright. But there are still some lawmakers calling for the impeachment to proceed independently from the Supreme Court.

MARIA Lourdes P.A. Sereno, a constitutional officer, deemed as victory the Supreme Court's landmark decision on Friday to oust the Chief Justice from office through a petition for quo warranto. Activists and opposition figures say that corruption allegations against her are a pretext for the real reason she was pushed out: She stood up against the president.

"The Supreme Court is the final arbiter of the law", Presidential Spokesman Harry L. Roque Jr. was quoted in a statement as saying.

Sereno was ordered to explain within 10 days why she should not be sanctioned for allegedly discussing the complaint against her in public and "for casting aspersions and ill-motive to the members of the Supreme Court".




Six of Sereno's fellow justices testified against her in the hearings that started in September, exposing rifts in the high court. "The court ruling is likewise an assertion of the supremacy of the fundamental law of the land", he added. "If it calls for your forced removal, I will do it". "And I personally respect that", said Martin.

"I am a victim today, but I am just one of so many thousands upon thousands whose lives have been snuffed out, who continue to remain in detention, who have been unfairly accused or unfairly victimized by the very powerful forces in our society that must be exposed for what they are", Sereno said.

It includes the names of policemen, military personnel, politicians and members of the judiciary.

Sereno made her disapproval of Duterte's leadership quite clear.

Three mayors who were on the list were killed by police in alleged shootouts, but some judges were later found out to be already dead, proving the list to be erroneous.

She voted against several of his proposals, such as extending martial law on a restive island and allowing late dictator Ferdinand Marcos to be buried in a cemetery for national heroes.

Dennis Jay Santos contributed reporting from Davao, southern Philippines.


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