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Sereno: 'Resigning never an option'

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno is facing an impeachment complaint filed by Duterte youth lawyer Larry Gadon. She has since denied all accusations fielded by Gadon against her. Efigenio Toledo IV/Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — "Resigning has never been an option" for Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, her spokesperson reiterated on Monday.

Following Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque's call for Sereno to "seriously consider resigning" to save the judiciary from "further damages," Atty. Carlo Cruz insisted that Sereno "needs to face the impeachment to preserve the dignity and independence of both the Supreme Court and the Office of the Chief Justice."

In a separate statement, Sereno's team of lawyers reminded the newly appointed Presidential Spokesperson that he is now representing President Rodrigo Duterte who earlier said that he will be "hands off" on the impeachment case.

Roque, in a press briefing on Monday afternoon, said that he believes Sereno should resign. He also stressed that Duterte also echoes his belief.

But Sereno's team said: "It would be prudent for Atty. Roque not to prejudge the case and let it run its course in accordance with the Constitution."

The House of Representatives Committee on Justice has deemed that the impeachment complaint filed by lawyer Larry Gadon has sufficient ground. Following the voting of the House panel, it will determine whether there is probable cause to impeach Sereno.

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Gadon is a known supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte and a defeated senatorial candidate under the Marcos-era Kilusang Bagong Lipunan.

Call to resignation is 'premature'

Sereno's team also said that Roque's statements are "premature and misdirected."

They argued that it is not Sereno who is inflicting damage to the Supreme Court, but her accusers.

Roque said that his call for resignation comes from being a "senior lawyer, a law professor." He said that the judiciary cannot "survive another decision that would remove an incumbent chief justice."

"The Chief Justice remains unfazed by the false accusations against her and is as resolved as ever to keep serving the people at the helm of the Judiciary," the statement reads.

Sereno's team of lawyers, led by Alex Poblador, insisted that Gadon's complaint should be dismissed "for lack of sufficient grounds and for lack of probable cause."

The group also said that Roque's call for resignation signifies that the evidence against Sereno is weak.

"The public knows that the allegations thrown against Sereno are malicious and lack strong grounds," the group said.

"Despite the personal attacks against Sereno and her being the Chief Justice, she remains committed to fulfilling her duties as the highest magistrate in the land," the statement further reads.

Gadon accuses Sereno of committing culpable violation of constitution, corruption, high crimes and betrayal of public trust.

READ: Point by point: Sereno answers impeachment complaint

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