Philippine SC ousts Duterte 'enemy' judge

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno goes back to work two months after taking an indefinite leave at the request of her fellow magistrates

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno goes back to work two months after taking an indefinite leave at the request of her fellow magistrates

Sereno said late Friday: "Staying quiet is tantamount to being an accomplice to their abuses".

Sereno has been a staunch critic of Duterte and more specifically the drug war. "I am very sorry for what happened", the bishop added.

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"There is a bigger battle ahead and we are put in this place to fight again", she said.

The decision came barely a day after Sereno announced on Thursday she was returning to work as the chief justice after she went on an indefinite "wellness leave" three months ago.

"During the time of PNoy (President Benigno Aquino) pa", he stressed.

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The decision to oust Sereno without an impeachment trial has been described as "a legal abomination", by one of the Associate Justices who voted against today's move.

Senator Leila de Lima, also a fellow critic of the government who was jailed past year on trumped-up drug charges, said Friday's ruling was the "greatest travesty" of justice committed by the high court since 1973, when its members, cowed by dictator Ferdinand Marcos, upheld his martial law.

April 4, 2018 Sereno asks some of her collegues to inhibit from the case, accusing them of bias for having testified against her in the House impeachment proceedings. The Constitution has given the duty of interpreting the law to the highest court of the land and we must abide by it regardless of our disagreement with its ruling. "Let's get there, we might find some clue there".

A Philippine opposition leader says the ouster of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno is a mockery of the constitution.

For Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, the SC had violated the Constitution for choosing to remove Sereno thru the quo warranto.

Police say they have killed around 4,200 drug suspects in Duterte's almost two-year-long campaign but rights groups allege the actual number is three times higher. He also says Sereno should appeal.

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Aside from a government petition to declare Sereno ineligible to lead the Supreme Court over her alleged failure to declare her wealth before she became chief justice, she also faced an impeachment complaint in the House of Representatives.

Sereno had snubbed the House hearings, and instead dared her critics to impeach her so she could defend herself at the Senate, where she said she believed she stood a better chance at getting cleared.

The Supreme Court ruled to remove Maria Lourdes Sereno as Chief Justice.

Duterte's spokesman released a statement saying: 'The High Court has spoken. "Let's continue to spread the message of democracy and reason".

Duterte in April publicly called Sereno an "enemy" and ordered his allies in Congress to speed up her removal. She has been speaking up for the respect of law and human rights, irking Duterte at a time he has led a brutal crackdown on illegal drugs that has left thousands of suspects dead.

SENATE President Aquilino Pimentel III urged the Supreme Court (SC) on Friday to review its decision to remove Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, in an assertion of the Senate's authority as "the one and only impeachment court".

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