MANILA, Philippines – Solicitor General Jose Calida said on Wednesday, April 25, that he has denied the request of private individual Jocelyn Marie Acosta to initiate a similar quo warranto proceeding against Supreme Court Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo de Castro.
Calida said that his arguments to remove Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno do not apply to De Castro “since it was Sereno who was appointed as Chief Justice without the qualifications back in 2012.”
Acosta, who is a vocal supporter of Sereno and who belongs to the group “The Silent Majority”, wrote Calida on April 20 urging him to file the same petition against De Castro on the basis of alleged missing Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALNs).
Acosta said that De Castro served the government for 39 years, yet submitted only 15 SALNs to the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC).
De Castro wasn’t appointed chief justice in 2012, so the attack must go back to her appointment as SC associate justice in 2007.
However, SALNs weren’t required in 2007. It was a new requirement introduced by the JBC in 2012 as a result of the conviction of former chief justice Renato Corona over non-declaration of dollar deposits in his SALNs.
“Your letter does not advert to any supporting evidence. It is basic that evidence is the means to proof; proof is the result of evidence,” Calida told Acosta in a letter dated April 23, but posted on his Twitter account only on Wednesday.
Calida said he initiated the quo warranto petition against Sereno based on the findings of the House justice committee which heard the impeachment complaint against the chief justice.
It was Sereno who was appointed as Chief Justice without the qualifications in 2012. pic.twitter.com/4xbIF8vRxZ— Jose Callangan Calida (@SolGenCalida) April 25, 2018
Rappler sources said Calida is currently on leave. The reason for his leave is still unknown.
Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio said the SC will have a decision on the quo warranto by the end of May.
On Wednesday, Sereno again hit Calida for the quo warranto petition, saying the move bears traces of a dictatorship. (READ: As quo warranto decision nears, Sereno hits SC for ‘unfairness’)
“It is effectively dictatorship, because the future of so many, the rights of so many, are being held in the hands of the Solicitor General and his boss,” she said. – Rappler.com