Justice Qazi Isa questions CJP's decision of reconstitution of bench

Philippine Supreme Court Ousts Chief Justice Duterte Called an ‘Enemy

Philippine Supreme Court Ousts Chief Justice Duterte Called an ‘Enemy

The Supreme Court collegium's in-principle position that it will stand by its recommendation to elevate Uttarakhand Chief Justice K M Joseph as a judge of the apex court would predictably keep alive the confrontation between the executive and the judiciary.

The entire focus of the non-elevation of Justice K.M. Joseph to the Supreme Court despite his name having been forwarded by the top court is ostensibly because of his judgment in the Uttarakhand case wherein he quashed the Governor's decision to impose President's rule.

But the impeachment process has now been pre-empted by the unprecedented vote Friday to remove her from the Supreme Court, sparking legal confusion over what would happen to the votes she cast on cases in the years she led the country's highest court.

In separate interviews, Senate President Aquilino Pimentel, a staunch ally of the Duterte administration, and Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon pointed out that after the SC decision, it appeared that the House of Representatives would no longer elevate the impeachment case against Sereno to the Senate.

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Constitutional law expert Pacifico Agabin told AFP Sereno could file a motion for reconsideration but warned the move would be "an exercise in futility".

Hundreds of protesters denouncing Sereno's ouster rallied outside the court.

"Let's continue to defend the constitution and fight wrongdoing". He was incensed that Sereno had openly spoken against maneuvers to gain absolute power.

He encouraged Sereno's supporters to read his opinion so they "can make their own judgment on whether my acts and words rise to the level of a disqualifying bias or prejudice". "Duterte will be a virtual dictator", Reyes said.

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The House Justice Committee said in March there was probable cause to impeach Sereno, accusing her of corruption, breach of public trust and other serious crimes.

The justices, he said, had become "instruments for political maneuverings."Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice said it was "disheartening" that the Supreme Court majority "played politics and were now part of the political circuit.Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas described Sereno's ouster as "the most brazen rape of the judicial branch by a self-confessed tyrant in Philippine history."Larry Gadon, the lawyer who filed the controversial impeachment complaint against Sereno, meanwhile, expressed elation at the high court ruling".

Global rights groups and local critics have accused the 73-year-old Duterte of moving toward authoritarianism after declaring martial law in the south amid a major attack by pro-Islamic State group militants last year.

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