The camp of ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno welcomed on Saturday the remarks of a United Nations expert, saying that the move to oust Sereno was a “serious threat” to the judiciary.
Atty. Josa Deinla, Sereno’s spokesperson, tagged UN Special Rapporteur Diego García-Sayán as a “formidable force” speaking up for the judicial independence in the country.
“For us, this is a welcome development that a formidable force in the international community is speaking up not only for the Chief Justice but for the Philippine judiciary,” Deinla said during a news forum.
“As we have been saying consistently, this decision favoring the quo warranto petition of the solicitor general will impair judicial independence whether decisionally or institutionally,” she said.
In a statement issued on Friday, García-Sayán said the ouster of Sereno is sending a “chilling effect on the Philippine judiciary.
“Not only do they constitute direct intimidation of the Chief Justice; they also appear to have had a ‘chilling effect’ on other Supreme Court justices, who may have been deterred from asserting their judicial independence and exercising their freedom of expression,” the UN expert said.
Deinla said that Sereno’s main argument when she filed her motion for reconsideration last May 30 was the injustice done against her.
“Alam naman natin that any case that is decided by a tribunal that did not observe and respect the due process is ousted by the jurisdiction,” Deinla said.
“Ibig sabihin, null and void ang decision na ito. Walang bisa,” she added.
The high tribunal voted 8-6 on May 11, finding Sereno “guilty of unlawfully holding and exercising the Office of the Chief Justice.” /jpv
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