Still an associate justice
What was declared null and void by the Supreme Court was Maria Lourdes Sereno’s appointment as chief justice in 2012, not her appointment as associate justice in 2010.
When she and some sitting justices of the Supreme Court applied for chief justice, they did not automatically lose their seats in that Court.
Only Sereno lost hers when she bagged the appointment.
As any law student has learned from Supreme Court decisions in the past, an act which is declared null and void produces no effect whatsoever.
It is, in fact, deemed nonexistent in legal contemplation.
Simple logic, then, dictates that since Sereno’s appointment as chief justice is null and void and deemed nonexistent, she should still be considered an associate justice, because her appointment as such was never put in question.
But if the eight angry justices take it a step further by getting Sereno disbarred, too, that’s it for her. Game over.
YVETTE SAN LUIS-PETROCELLI
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