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Sereno’s fate to be decided in May

By REY PANALIGAN

The Supreme Court (SC) is expected to hand down next month its decision on the quo warranto petition that sought the disqualification and ouster of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P. A. Sereno as head of the judiciary.

“By next month, we should be able to decide on it,” Acting Chief Justice Antonio T. Carpio said yesterday during the launching of the new app called Justice PH at the lobby of the Hall of Justice in Quezon City.

The quo warranto petition was filed by Solicitor General Jose C. Ca lida in behalf of the government.

The SC required Sereno, who went on indefinite leave last March 1, to comment on the petition. Ca lida filed his reply to the comment. Thereafter, the SC conducted oral argument last April 10 in Baguio City where Sereno appeared and testified under oath.

After the oral argument, both Sereno and Calida were required to file their respective memorandum until today.

Thereafter, the petition is deemed submitted for decision.

Impeachment complaints were filed against Sereno by lawyer Larry Gadon. Sereno said she decided to go on indefinite leave to prepare for the impeachment proceedings.

After hearings, the committee on justice of the House of Representatives found six alleged impeachable offenses against Sereno but the one-third vote of all the members of the House has yet to be culled before the articles of impeachment could be elevated to the Senate for trial.

Legal circles said that should the SC find jurisdiction over the quo warranto case and decide to disqualify and unseat Sereno, the impeachment complaints become moot and academic.

In her comment on the quo warranto petition, Sereno had asked the SC to dismiss the petition for lack of jurisdiction on the part of the High Court and for lack of merit.

Through her lawyers, Sereno pointed out the Constitutional provision which states that impeachable officials, including SC justices, may be removed from office upon impeachment by the House of Representatives and conviction by the Senate, sitting as an impeachment court.

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