Militants rally behind Sereno
(The Freeman) - April 11, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Militant groups in Central Visayas rallied behind Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno who is facing a quo warranto petition before the Supreme Court.

In a press conference at UP Cebu yesterday, John Ruiz of Bayan Muna Central Visayas, Noe Santillan of Movement Against Tyranny-Cebu and  Dr. Phoebe Sanchez of Karapatan- Central Visayas expressed their support for Sereno and asked the public, the different sectors and organizations to stand with them.

Sanchez said the quo warranto petition is “overkill” and beyond reasonable grounds for it is very subjective.

She said this could mean that any of government adversaries can just be accused of and judged as terrorist even without any evidence and court proceedings.

If this happens, there will be no power left to the civilian, unfortunate people, to the community, farmers and the ordinary people.

"This is the making of another dictatorship and we will not allow this one to happen again," she said.

Santillan, for his part said, under the constitution, the president, vice president, members of the Supreme Court, Constitutional Commission and Ombudsman can only be removed from their position through impeachment process.

"Unang higayon kini nga gipasakaan og quo warranto ang Hepe sa Korte Suprema," said Santillan. (This is the first time that a quo warranto petition is filed against the Chief Justice.)

Last month, Solicitor General Jose Calida filed a quo warranto petition before the Supreme Court seeking to remove Sereno.  He explained that the quo warranto petition is the appropriate move to determine the validity of Sereno's appointment and like the president or vice president, the chief justice may also be subjected to quo warranto proceedings.

Santillan added that this desperate action is maybe because Serene has been against the acquittal of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in her plunder case, the decision of the SC to allow the burial of former President Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, and the implementation of Martial Law in Mindanao.

Santillan said President Rodrigo Duterte claimed that Sereno is his enemy and that she must be impeached from his position and he also asked Congress to fast track the impeachment and urged Calida to file the quo warranto petition which means that the removal of Sereno is a step towards full dictatorship.

"Kontrolado na ni Duterte ang dakong bahin sa Kongreso. Ang sobrang paningkamot nga matangtang si CJ Sereno sa Korte Suprema, nagpakita sa kagustuhang mapalig-on ang kontrol sa administrasyong Duterte sa hudikatura," he said. (President Duterte controls majority of Congress and his desire to remove CJ Sereno is for him to take control of the judiciary.)

At around 2 p.m. yesterday, the militant groups held a protest in front Metro Gaisano on Colon Street to show their support for Sereno and to uphold judicial independence. — Sheil Corrine Garces, CNU Comm Intern/MBG (FREEMAN)

MARIA LOURDES SERENO
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