What’s Sereno’s status? | Inquirer Opinion

What’s Sereno’s status?

/ 05:01 AM April 08, 2021

With reference to the letter “Sereno’s reinstatement not going to happen” (3/31/21), we totally agree that the quo warranto against former chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno only touched upon her appointment as chief justice.

So, if plain and simple “logic” were to prevail, she should really be considered to have returned to her previous post following the declaration of nullity as regards her appointment to another post. Having been declared “void ab initio” (from the very beginning), that new appointment is deemed to have never happened in the eyes of the law, i.e., erased totally as if it never even existed, according to the Supreme Court’s own doctrinal rulings.


Sereno was only declared to be not lawfully qualified to sit as chief justice, period. But no doubt was ever raised about her qualification as associate justice. She never resigned as such. She was simply “deemed” to have vacated that post once she took her oath as chief justice. When that “oath” was itself voided along with her new appointment, the “vacancy” she left should have been “deemed” nonexistent, too.

So, what status has the Supreme Court assigned to Sereno as its 169th associate justice? Retired? She has neither reached 70 years of age nor opted for early retirement. Resigned? She never did. Ousted? She was stripped only of the robe as chief justice. Indeed, did the Supreme Court bite off more than it could chew?


Jeremias H. Tobias,[email protected]

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