MANILA, Philippines (3RD UPDATE) – The Supreme Court (SC) en banc on Tuesday, April 3, decided to hold oral arguments on the quo warranto petition against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, SC Spokesman Theodore Te said.
The oral arguments will be held on April 10 in Baguio City where the en banc is holding work all month for their summer session.
Sereno is required to appear during the oral arguments “to answer questions from the SC En Banc,” Te said.
The holding of oral arguments is upon Sereno’s request. Te said the SC granted her Ad Cautelam Motion to Set for Oral Argument.
“The Filipino people are eager to see how this Honorable Court will resolve this case of first impression. Public interest would therefore be served if positions of the parties are, in part, argued in full public view,” Sereno said in her motion filed on April 2.
This is a slight change in her position as the Chief Justice had maintained before that the petition should be dismissed outright.
It will be the first time that Sereno would be heard in a public hearing since the impeachment proceedings began. She skipped invitations from the House justice committee saying she has a right to be represented by her lawyers.
The SC en banc is currently deliberating on the quo warranto petition to remove Sereno from office in a proceeding separate from impeachment. The board of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) and Makabayan bloc lawmakers have sought to file an intervention to stop the proceeding.
The SC en banc denied the interventions filed by some groups, but it “noted” the intervention filed by the IBP board, Te said. – Rappler.com