UN rapporteur ‘misinformed’ on Sereno ouster: Roque

MANILA � MalacaAang on Friday said United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers Diego Garcia-Sayan has been misinformed when he reportedly said judicial independence in the Philippines is under threat.

We find it unfortunate that Mr. Diego Garcia-Sayan has been misinformed on the case surrounding the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press statement.

Roque reiterated that President Rodrigo Duterte's dislike of former chief justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno is not an attack on the judiciary or an affront to judicial independence.

It is a reaction to the allegations made by former CJ Sereno against the Chief Executive in many public fora saying the latter is behind her impeachment/quo warranto petition, he said.

Voting 8-6, the Supreme Court (SC) granted on May 11 the quo warranto petition filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida against Sereno.

The High Court granted the quo warranto petition against the ex-CJ after allowing the oral arguments, which found the former top magistrate disqualified for the position, Roque said.

He said MalacaAang recognizes the SC's independence and respects the separation of powers among the three branches of government.

It is ex-CJ Sereno's colleagues, associate justices known for their independence and unassailable integrity, who voted for her to be ousted, he added.

He said some of these justices, appointed by two previous administrations, have actually testified against Sereno in a House of Representatives hearing.

It was also her peers who asked the ex-CJ to go on indefinite leave to protect the integrity and reputation of the court after it became clear that the she failed to file some of her annual Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth, Roque said.

It is therefore obvious that former Chief Justice Sereno created her own problems and was removed by her colleagues in the Supreme Court, he added. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency