Sereno supporters call for Calida's resignation
Solicitor General Jose Calida last week said that he will not pursue a quo warranto case against Associate Justice Teresita De Castro.
Philstar.com/Kristine Joy Patag

Sereno supporters call for Calida's resignation

Kristine Joy Patag (Philstar.com) - April 30, 2018 - 3:50pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Coalition for Justice called for Solicitor General Jose Calida's resignation for supposedly using a “double standard” when he junked the plea to initiate a quo warranto proceeding against Associate Justice Teresita De Castro.

In a statement, the group stressed that Calida's quo warranto proceeding against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno was grounded on integrity. “If Sereno’s probity is being impugned because of a few missing [Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth], which she has proven that she filed, then the same strict standard should be applied to De Castro,” the group said.

READ: Calida: No quo warranto against Justice De Castro

The CFJ is a multisectoral group that has voiced its support for Sereno and staged rallies in support of the chief justice, who is facing two attempts to oust her from office.

“Following Calida’s argument, De Castro’s failure to clear Calida’s high bar of ‘integrity’ should make her ineligible for her post as associate justice and, thus, subject to quo warranto proceedings, period.”

The group has “demanded” that Calida step down as the government’s chief legal counsel for “shamelessly betraying their trust” and “killing justice in this land.”

Sereno SALNs

The solicitor general is seeking Sereno’s removal as chief justice for failing the “integrity test” when she only submitted three of her SALNs to the Judicial and Bar Council in 2012.

A private citizen, Jocelyn Acosta, urged Calida to use the same basis he used with Sereno and pursue a quo warranto case against De Castro. Acosta, in her letter, pointed out that De Castro only submitted to the JBC 15 of her SALN when she has been in government service since 1973.

But Calida, on April 25, said that he will not initiate a legal challenge to De Castro’s appointment to the high court since it was Sereno, and not De Castro, who was appointed as chief justice. He also stressed that it was Sereno who was appointed "without qualifications in 2012" and not De Castro.

But the CFJ argued: “Calida claims that integrity is a continuing requirement, and when it is proven that a Justice has no integrity, she can be removed at any time.”

The group has also asked for the resignation of De Castro, Associate Justices Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Francis Jardeleza and Noel Tijam whom they branded as “biased.”

Unnamed insiders from the court have been quoted in reports as saying that the high tribunal will vote on the quo warranto petition against Sereno on May 11.

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