Manila Bulletin

Judges, SC employees urge Sereno to resign


The Philippine Judges Associatio­n (PJA) and four employees’ organizati­ons in the judiciary have asked Chief Justice-on leave Maria Lourdes P. A. Sereno to resign to save the judiciary from “disrepute” that affects the honor and integrity of justices, judges, and court employees.”

It was reported that the statement jointly issued by the PJA and the four organizati­ons will be read in today’s flag raising ceremony in the SC, the appellate courts, and the trial courts nationwide.

It will be another “Red Monday” today at the SC where officials and employees would be wearing red clothes, neckties, and arm bands during the flag ceremony to dramatize their call for Sereno to resign.

The PJA is the SC-authorized associatio­n of regional trial court (RTC) judges with about 1,200 incumbent members nationwide.

The four employees’ groups are the Supreme Court Assembly of Lawyer Employees (SCALE), Philippine Associatio­n of Court Employees (PACE), the Supreme Court Employees Associatio­n (SCEA), and the Sandiganba­yan Employees Associatio­n (SBEA). PACE is a nationwide group of court employees.

“We, the entire force of the judiciary, which includes judges, officials and court employees under your leadership, are pleading you, our beloved Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno, to do the timely and necessary sacrifice for the institutio­n that you gave so much time and love in these past years,” reads the statement written in Filipino.

The statement sent to journalist­s by one of those who signed document said: “We call on you, for the sake of our people, to step down from your position as chief justice.”

“Court officials have been pitted against each other resulting in a distressin­g atmosphere. This is aggravated by the fact that the Court en banc has taken cognizance of the petition for quo warranto and ordered her (Sereno) to file her comment thereto, instead of dismissing it outright. The Court can no longer endure a prolonged environmen­t of this kind. Its officials and personnel, truly dedicated and conscienti­ous public servants, cannot go through another set of hearings and go against each other again at the Senate,” it said.

“Chief, it is time to let go. Please. Let the Judiciary move on. Mabuhay ang ating Hudikatura! Sulong Korte Suprema!” it added.

Reports stated that “Red Monday” would also be done in various trial courts in the country.

The first “Red Monday” at the SC was held last week where officials and employees – even some SC justices – wore something red – from neckties to scarfs – to show their protest on what they called “damage inflicted on the judiciary” as a result of the impeachmen­t complaints against Sereno.

Enrile may advise prosecutio­n team

House Justice Committee Chairman Reynaldo Umali has confirmed the involvemen­t of former Senate President Juan Prince Enrile in the prosecutio­n team that will attempt to convict Sereno, saying he would be of great help.

Umali, in a DZBB interview yesterday, said that the 94-year-old Enrile would most likely serve as adviser to the private prosecutor­s that would be tapped by the 11-man House prosecutio­n team, which will be composed of congressme­n.

“Tama po yan... Siya naman ay available para tumulong sa prosecutio­n nito (That’s correct... he is available to help on this prosecutio­n),” replied the Oriental Mindoro 2nd district congressma­n when asked about reports of Enrile joining the effort to unseat Sereno before the Senate Impeachmen­t Court.

“Adviser siguro (Maybe as an adviser),” Umali said of the nonagenari­an’s role, particular­ly with the private lawyers. (With a report from Ellson A. Quismorio)

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