Manilla, (UNA-OIC) - Philippines Supreme Court justices, in a historic decision Friday, removed their own Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, a known critic of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Voting 8-6 in a special en banc session, the Supreme Court declared void Sereno's nomination, over her alleged failure to disclose her wealth when filing of statements of assets, liabilities and net worth.
Respondent Maria Lourdes P. A. Sereno is disqualified from and is hereby adjudged guilty of unlawfully holding and exercising the office of the chief justice, said Supreme Court spokesman Theodore Te, adding the order was effective immediately.
Sereno, who was the country's first female chief justice, is the first constitutional officer ousted outside impeachment proceedings and the second chief justice in Philippine history to be removed from office.
Renato Corona was impeached in 2011 for betraying the public trust and committing a culpable violation of the Constitution.
Sereno, who went on an indefinite leave in March had returned to work last Wednesday after completing her preparation for her legal defenses against the baseless impeachment complaint filed against her, said one of her spokespersons.
Sereno has been a staunch critic of Duterte and more specifically the drug war. According to local media, over 4,000 drug suspects who resisted arrest have been killed in the past two years.
Source: International Islamic News Agency