Manila police secure Supreme Court ahead of quo warranto ruling

Philippine Supreme Court justices oust chief justice

Protesters warn democracy at risk if Filipino justice ousted

By granting the quo warranto petition to oust Sereno as chief justice, Gatchalian said the SC has circumvented the crystal-clear constitutional mandate of Congress, subverting in the process the paramount tradition of separation of powers that lies at the very heart of the republican system of government. "Accordingly, respondent Maria Lourdes P.A. Sereno is ousted and excluded therefrom".

The quo warranto petition, filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida in March, challenged Sereno's appointment as chief justice because she allegedly failed to submit the required Statements of Assets Liabilities and Net worth (SALNs) before being assigned her post in 2o12 - a move Sereno contested.

Former President Benigno Aquino appointed Sereno in 2012. "Despite this setback, let us not lose our confidence in our democracy". "Ang araw na ito ang araw ng paglaban", she said. He says "the people should express to the court that the decision was wrong and unacceptable".

Activist priest Robert Reyes, a Sereno supporter, is leading a prayer rally, offering incense in front of the court to exorcise the "evil" deeds of the justices.

Sereno faced probing colleagues in a historic first for the Philippine judiciary that a Chief Justice stands at a hearing by her fellow justices.

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The House of Representatives is yet to approve the articles of impeachment which is needed so that the Senate can convene as an impeachment court.

Sereno's camp has yet to appeal the SC decision.

Reports said that Sereno arrived in her office before 7:30 a.m. after missing work on Thursday because of high blood pressure. "Allow the Chief Justice to defend herself in the impeachment trial", the statement reads.

The justice committee of the House of Representatives, which conducted impeachment proceedings against her following a complaint filed by lawyer Larry Gadon, found probable cause to unseat her and would elevate its recommendation to the plenary which would vote on whether to affirm of dismiss the case. She also has been speaking up for the respect of law and human rights, irking Duterte at a time he has led a brutal crackdown on illegal drugs that has left thousands of suspects dead.

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