MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Friday, May 11, urged the public to respect the Supreme Court decision to grant the quo warranto petition against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno amid strong criticism and public outrage over the ruling.
“The Supreme Court is the final arbiter of the law. The High Court has spoken,” Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said in a statement.
“Let us respect its decision granting the quo warranto petition as the proper remedy and the quo warranto petition ruling against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno,” Roque added.
Lawmakers and various groups slammed the Court's 8-6 vote favoring the petition to oust Sereno, saying this dealt a blow to the Constitution and set a dangerous precedent. (READ: Senators on Sereno ouster: 'Black day for justice')
Senators said that the removal of an impeachable officer like the Chief Justice is the job of the Senate, convened as an impeachment court, as provided by the Constitution.
Apparently addressing such concerns, Roque said: “The Supreme Court, a co-equal branch of government, is duty-bound to uphold the Constitution. The court ruling is likewise an assertion of the supremacy of the fundamental law of the land.”
Chief Presidential Counsel Salvador Panelo said that the Court was "only performing its constitutional duty of interpreting the provisions of the Constitution and rendering a decision on cases properly brought before it."
"The assumption of jurisdiction is a triumph of the rule of law. Dura lex sed lex or 'the law may be harsh, but it is the law.' Decisions cannot be based on emotions nor on biases," Panelo said a statement. – with a report from Paterno Esmaquel II / Rappler.com