The high court has ordered the suspension of Pangasinan municipal trial court Judge Gerely Rico-Cruz over posts on her personal Facebook account strongly denouncing the SC for its quo warranto decision last May that ousted Sereno.
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SC suspends judge for Facebook post on ouster of Sereno
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - November 22, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — For the first time in the history of the judiciary, the Supreme Court has cracked the whip on a judge who criticized on social media the SC decision ousting Maria Lourdes Sereno as chief justice on the basis of a quo warranto case.

The high court has ordered the suspension of Pangasinan municipal trial court Judge Gerely Rico-Cruz over posts on her personal Facebook account strongly denouncing the SC for its quo warranto decision last May that ousted Sereno.

In a resolution obtained by The STAR, the SC has preventively suspended Cruz for three months starting Oct. 12 until Jan. 10 pending administrative investigation against her for possible violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct and Code of Professional Responsibility.

This preventive suspension, however, is not yet a penalty as the SC has yet to determine if the judge is liable for her Facebook posts and decide whether or not to impose administrative sanctions against her.

But the Court normally does not impose preventive suspension on members of the judiciary facing administrative cases and allow them to continue serving in their respective positions.

When the SC decided to grant the quo warranto petition of the solicitor general and ordered the ouster of Sereno last May 11, Cruz immediately posted strong criticisms against the Court on her Facebook page on the same day.

“Yaman rin lang wala ng Rule of Law at pinatay na ang Judicial Independence, isara na rin natin ang mga korte! Wala na kaming silbi nyan! (Since there is no more rule of law and judicial independence is now dead, let’s just shut down the courts! We are useless already!) How can people trust us now? We’ve lost all credibility!” the embattled judge said in her post on May 11 at 11:57 a.m. after news on Sereno ouster broke out.

Cruz went as far as using expletive in her post: “Paano ba magpa-refund ng tuition saka mga nagastos ko sa libro nung nag-aaral ako ng law? T*** ina! Nasayang lahat ng panahon at pera ko sa pag-aaral ng law eh eto lang pala ang mapapala natin! (How do I get a refund of my expenses in law school? Son of a b**ch! I wasted time and money to study law and this is all we get!).”

The judge did not stop there and even posted a message directed to the high court in the evening.

FACEBOOK MARIA LOURDES SERENO SUPREME COURT
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