Judiciary groups calling on Sereno to resign

House panel impeaches Philippine chief justice

'Democratize the position of CJI and High Court Chief Justices', says Justice AP Shah

The statement calling for Sereno's resignation, obtained by The Manila Times, states: "The pending impeachment proceedings in recent months have put the entire judiciary in disrepute, thereby affecting the honor and integrity of its justices, judges, officials have pitted against each other resulting in a distressing atmosphere".

The hearing also revealed that Oliveros, Chief Justice staff head, and Ocampo, Court Attorney IV also under the office of the Chief Justice, had recommended the hiring of Perez-Macasaet.

Lawyer Lorenzo Gadon, the complainant in the impeachment case against Chief Justice on-leave Maria Lourdes Sereno, filed graft charges before the Department of Justice on Monday against 4 officials and a consultant of the Supreme Court as an offshoot of the chief magistrate's impeachment case. The committee report will go through a plenary vote this week. He was an appointee of former president Joseph Estrada.

Judges and court employees nationwide are expected to wear red in today's flag raising to show their support for Sereno's resignation.

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The joint statement said the SC "can no longer endure a prolonged environment of this kind". "Its officials and personnel, truly dedicated and conscientious public servants, can not go through another set of hearings and go against each other again in the Senate".

The organizations also said that Sereno should just resign to spare herself from being judged as the first woman and youngest Chief Justice to be ousted in history.

Under the Constitution, once the House approves the imp0eachment resolution, it would refer it to the Senate which is to constitute itself into an impeachment court to try Sereno. Once the Senate impeachment trial begins, the [justices] who became the resource persons in the House of Representatives will become witnesses already and be subjected to cross-examination.

It also accused the chief justice of using Supreme Court funds to purchase a auto worth 5.1 million pesos, higher than its market value of 4.5 million pesos, for her personal use.

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The Philippines' embattled Supreme Court chief justice on Monday rejected calls for her to resign ahead of an impending impeachment, saying that quitting would only expose the judiciary to more attacks.

"But now with Sereno's looming impeachment, there is infighting inside our home".

The TWG was supposed to expedite the study and resolution of retirement and other civil benefits for spouses of justices and judges who have died.

"Justice Gogoi has placed on the line his chances of succeeding CJI Dipak Misra as the Chief Justice of India (CJI), for, as per, convention, the incoming CJI is appointed on the recommendation of the outgoing CJI", he said adding the other three too risked criticism from their peers, and perhaps also getting isolated from the bar and bench after they retire.

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