July 19, 2018, 1:24 am
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Sereno doubts fair SC ruling on Calida petition

THE camp of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno yesterday expressed doubts whether the Supreme Court can render a fair ruling on the quo warranto petition filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida challenging the basis of her appointment as the top magistrate in 2012.

Sereno’s spokesperson, lawyer Josa Deinla, said their sentiment is due to the fact that some magistrates testified against her during the impeachment proceedings at the House of Representatives and have also refused to inhibit from participating in the case.

“We all knew that some of her colleagues had shown bias and prejudice when they served as witnesses or resource persons before the committee of justice,” Deinla said in a forum in Manila yesterday, adding their bias could reflect on their deliberations on the controversial quo warranto case.

“We have concerns that since they refused to inhibit despite the motion for inhibitions filed by the Chief Justice before the Supreme Court, the process of deliberation might not be fair,” Deinla added.

Sereno had asked Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo De Castro, Noel Tijam, Lucas Bersamin, Francis Jardeleza and Diosdado Peralta to inhibit from participating in the quo warranto petition, saying the five, who have testified against her in the impeachment hearings in the House, were “biased and hostile” against her. The five magistrates declined Sereno’s appeal.

Deinla, however, reiterated they are confident that the truth will come out once the Senate, acting as the impeachment court, starts the trial of the case filed by lawyer Larry Gadon.

“We are confident that the truth will prevail, that the truth will come out and she (Sereno) will be given a chance to air and prove her side,” Deinla added.

Deinla also said Sereno has no plans to run for the Senate in the 2019 midterm elections.

Deinla said running for public office is farthest from the mind of Sereno, adding that she is focused on fighting the quo warranto case filed by Calida.

“Chief Justice Sereno is determined to fight the impeachment case and the quo warranto petition filed against her before the Supreme Court. This means that all her efforts are focused on the issues at hand,” Deinla.

“Any insinuation(s) about her supposed plan in the future is nothing but a distraction to sow intrigue and confuse the public,” Deinla said, adding that runnig for a Senate seat was never discussed by Sereno with her legal team.

“There is no such plan. We never talk about that. It has never been brought up in the first place. So we were all surprised that there are such rumors,” Deinla explained.

Sereno, who is on indefinite leave from the tribunal, has been travelling the country to deliver speeches to lawyers groups, students’ organization and schools, while occasionally speaking out against the bid to remove her from her post.
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