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Sereno’s unconstitutional removal worst ever mistake by SC

/ 04:02 AM May 18, 2021

Former chief justice Artemio Panganiban’s column last Sunday should be a must-read for lawyers who care about the rule of law in our country.

There is no doubt that former chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno was unconstitutionally removed by a kangaroo court that describes itself as the Supreme Court with the active participation of three justices whose ambition to be chief justice would not be fulfilled if Sereno was allowed to complete her term.

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For me, as a lawyer for more than 40 years and proud of the profession, the unconstitutional removal of Sereno was the worst ever mistake by the Supreme Court. It pains me that several sitting justices went to the House of Representatives to ask for her impeachment, an unprecedented act in our history. Worse, the same justices refused to recuse themselves when a quo warranto case was filed against her at the Court. Whatever happened to the ethical rule on judges inhibiting in cases where they have already prejudged a party to a case?

I was so incensed by that unconstitutional act that when the decision became final, I stopped putting the word “Atty.” before my name or be addressed as such, or describe myself as a lawyer. In the latter case, a lawyer is considered an officer of the court, and I cannot in conscience accept that I am an officer of a court that grossly violated the Constitution and its own ethical rules.

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For this retired lawyer, Sereno will remain to be the first female chief justice of the Supreme Court.

JOSE BARTOLOME

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TAGS: Letters to the Editor, Maria Lourdes Sereno impeachment
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