Sereno: Junking quo warranto could have been SC’s redemption

MANILA, Philippines – Ousted chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno is taking her statements against the Supreme Court (SC) up a notch when she implied on Friday, May 11, that the SC's reputation as an institution has taken a beating and that saving her from the quo warranto petition could have been its redemption.

Sana ho naging panahon para i-redeem ng Supreme Court ang sarili nya, ang majority, kasi ho may mga ikinalulungkot na pong desisyon, ngunit hindi po yun ang nangyari,” Sereno said in a press conference Friday evening after the SC voted 8-6 to oust her.

(This would have been the time for the Supreme Court to redeem itself, but the majority already had decided, so this did not happen.)

Sereno maintained up to the end that the 6 justices who testified against her in House hearings, and who she said had already showed bias, should have inhibited.

These are: Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo De Castro, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Francis Jardeleza, Noel Tijam and Samuel Martires. (READ: Sereno says there were offers to meet Duterte: He could have ended it)

They are 6 of the 8 concurring justices who voted to remove her from office in a quo warranto petition, slammed by many as an unconstitutional move.

“Malinaw naman, pormal kong hinain yun, kayo ang nag-akusa, sinabi niyong hindi ako dapat sa puwesto, eh bakit hindi kayo mag inhibit?” Sereno said.

(It's clear, I formally filed that appeal, if you were the accusers, and you said I shouldn't be in this post, then why not inhibit?)

Sereno said considering that the 6 justices should have inhibited, the voting could have been 6-2 in her favor.

“Kung natanggal sana ang anim na ‘yun, eh di resounding victory,” Sereno said.

(If those 6 did not participate, it could have been a resounding victory.) 

She added: “What I got this morning was a moral victory, technically it was not a victory but it’s clear to everyone it was a moral victory.”

Sereno revealed on Friday that she was not actually present in the en banc room when the voting happened.

Minabuti ko na po na hindi po talaga, na lumabas na agad, ‘yun po ang minabuti ko,” Sereno said.

(I took it upon me to leave the room.)

Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email or tweet @lianbuan.