Palace advises Sereno to consider ouster calls

MANILA Malacanang on Monday advised embattled Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to consider the growing clamor for her to step down amid impeachment proceedings against her and a case before the Supreme Court (SC) seeking to void her 2012 appointment.

We can only ask her to consider all these calls from various stakeholders within the courts itself, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Palace press briefing.

Roque clarified that the decision to resign is one to be made by the Chief Justice alone.

No one can force her to resign if she doesn't want. However, I think the sentiment even of the lower court judges have been made known, Roque said.

Recently, Sereno's fellow magistrates in the high court have asked her to go on indefinite leave.

On Monday, SC employees' associations and a judges' group came out with a joint statement, pleading to the chief justice to make the supreme sacrifice by stepping down for the benefit of the entire nation.

The pending impeachment proceedings in recent months have put the entire Judiciary in disrepute, thereby affecting the honor and integrity of its justices, judges, officials and rank and file personnel, said in a prepared statement.

The statement was signed by top officials of the Philippine Judges Association, Philippine Association of Court Employees, Supreme Court Assembly of Lawyer Employees and Supreme Court Employees Association.

Voting 38-2, the House committee on justice affirmed last Thursday that there is probable cause to impeach Sereno over alleged culpable violation of the Constitution, corruption, betrayal of public trust and other high crimes.

Source: Philippine News Agency