“For now, a motion for reconsideration can be filed. But for me, they (IBP) do not have a standing because the one who was affected (by the ruling) is the chief justice,” Presidential spokesman Harry Roque told state-run radio station Radyo Pilipinas.
IBP can’t seek reversal of Sereno ouster — Palace
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - June 14, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) has no legal standing to seek the reversal of the Supreme Court ruling ousting former chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, Malacañang said yesterday.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the IBP, the national organization of lawyers in the country, was not affected by the high court’s decision. 

“For now, a motion for reconsideration can be filed. But for me, they (IBP) do not have a standing because the one who was affected (by the ruling) is the chief justice,” Roque told state-run radio station Radyo Pilipinas. 

Roque said the IBP should just respect the decision of the SC, which marked the first time justices booted out a sitting chief justice. 

“I think the decision will not change. Lawyers, as officers of the court, should be the first ones to encourage the people to respect and not to question the decision of the highest court,” the presidential spokesman said.

Last month, the SC, voting 8-6, invalidated the appointment of Sereno because of her failure to file about ten statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALNs). In its 153-page ruling written by Associate Justice Noel Tijam, the high court said Sereno is not eligible to become the chief magistrate because of lack of integrity.

The court acted on a quo warranto petition by the Office of the Solicitor General, the government’s chief lawyer, but President Duterte claimed to have no involvement in the effort to unseat Sereno. 

Sereno claimed that the justices who backed the petition destroyed the judiciary and violated their oath to defend the Constitution. 

The IBP has asked the SC to reverse its ruling, saying the high court acted beyond its authority when it decided to remove Sereno. The group maintained that impeachment, a power vested in Congress, is the only means to remove a sitting chief justice. 

IBP also argued that the SC is not a trier of facts and determining whether the former chief justice filed her SALNs “is undeniably a question of fact.” 

Sen. Risa Hontiveros said Sereno is seen as an asset to the opposition even if she has yet to discuss the possibility of her running for the Senate next year.

Speaking to reporters during the Independence Day gathering of opposition-leaning Tindig Pilipinas, Hontiveros said they have not formally asked Sereno to join the opposition slate for the 2019 midterm elections.

“I think the focus of Tindig Pilipinas now is for her motion for reconsideration on the quo warranto petition to be approved,” she said, referring to Sereno’s appeal on the SC decision that ousted her.

“If that will fail – hopefully not – then that will be the ripe moment for us to talk about other plans,” she added. – With Janvic Mateo

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