MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno ended her indefinite leave and returned to the Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday, May 9, informed sources confirmed to Rappler.
Sereno returned days ahead of the voting on her quo warranto petition. The SC confirmed on Wednesday that a special en banc session will be held on Friday, May 11.
ADVISORY. SC En Banc Special Session, May 11, 2018, 10 AM. pic.twitter.com/sLFL1sIaQV— Supreme Court PIO (@SCPh_PIO) May 9, 2018
Sereno went on an indefinite leave on February 24, a decision she made during a tense en banc session which caused further strain on her relationship with fellow justices.
She was pressured to go on an indefinite leave, which she obliged to after hours of discussion and some apprehension. Her spokespersons later announced she was taking only an early wellness leave. (READ: Why SC justices forced Sereno to go on leave)
The Sereno team’s announcement of a wellness leave pushed the 13 justices who were present in the meeting to come out with a rare unified public stance, saying the decision about an indefinite leave was a “consensus.”
She has spent the last two months attending and speaking at fora, each time her statements against her colleagues becoming even stronger.
Sereno returns to an SC that has held “red Monday protests” to call for her resignation.
Malacañang said Sereno’s decision to return to the High Court is an internal matter.
“The decision of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to end her indefinite leave and the reported ruling of the quo warranto petition against the Chief Justice are internal matters to the High Court,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.
“The Executive recognizes judicial independence and respects the separation of powers of the 3 branches of government, including a functioning judiciary,” Roque added. – Rappler.com