SC junks Sereno’s motion for reconsideration
By REY PANALIGAN
The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday declared final its May 11 decision that ousted Maria Lourdes Sereno as chief justice and head of the judiciary.
Voting, 8-6, the High Court denied the motion for reconsideration filed by Sereno. Under the rules, a second motion for reconsideration is a prohibited pleading.
With the finality of the ruling, the SC ruled that no further pleadings will be entertained in the case and an entry of judgment will be issued immediately.
Following the finality of the ruling, the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) – the constitutionally mandated office that accepts, screens and nominates appointments to the judiciary – is now accepting applications and nominations to the Chief Justice post.
President Duterte has 90 days from yesterday to appoint Sereno’s replacement from the list of nominees that would be submitted by the JBC.
Last May 11, eight SC justices voted to oust Sereno for her failure to comply with the JBC’s requirement of filing 10-year statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALNs) when she applied for the Chief Justice post in 2012.
Six justices dissented.
The decision said that Sereno’s failure to submit her SALNs meant “her integrity was not established at the time of her application” and thus she was ineligible to hold her position.
The decision was written by Justice Noel G. Tijam. The seven other magistrates who concurred were Justices Teresita J. Leonardo de Castro, Diosdado M. Peralta, Lucas P. Bersamin, Francis H. Jardeleza, Samuel R. Martires, Andres B. Reyes Jr., and Alexander G. Gesmundo.
Those who voted to deny the quo warranto petition were Acting Chief Justice Carpio and Justices Presbitero J. Velasco Jr., Mariano C. del Castillo, Estela M. Perlas Bernabe, Marvic Mario Victor F. Leonen, and Alfredo Benjamin s. Caguio.
On the issue of whether or not quo warranto is the proper remedy to challenge Sereno’s appointment as Chief Justice, the voting was 9-5. Justices Velasco, De Castro, Peralta, Bersamin, Jardeleza, Martires, Tijam, Reyes Jr., and Gesmundo voted that quo warranto is the proper remedy.
Justices Carpio, Del Castillo, Perlas Bernabe, Leonen, and Caguio voted against. To them, impeachment is the proper remedy.
On the issue of whether or not Sereno violated the Constitution for her failure to file her SALNs, Carpio, De Castro, Peralta, Bersamin, Jardeleza, Martirez, Tijam, Reyes Jr., and Gesmundo voted that there was a violation.