Judges, court employees call for Sereno's resignation

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Two SC employees wear red shirts with the print, 'Pls. Resign now!' | Photo from Xianne Arcangel

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 11) — Judges and employees of the High Court are demanding the resignation of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

Members of the Philippine Judges' Association, Philippine Assembly of Lawyer Employees, Philippine Association of Court Employees, and Sandiganbayan Employees' Association joined the Supreme Court Employees' Association (SCEA) in their call to urge Sereno to go, and allow the Judiciary to move on.

"Kami po ay nananawagan para na rin po sa kapakanan ng buong sambayanang Pilipino na kayo po ay bumaba na sa pwesto at magbitiw bilang punong mahistrado o chief justice," SCEA president Erwin Jocson said during the flag-raising ceremony Monday.

(Translation:  We are calling for you to step down as Chief Justice for the sake of the Filipinos.)

"The impeachment proceedings in recent months have put the Judiciary in dispute, thereby affecting the honor and integrity of each justices, judges, officials, and rank and file personnel. Court officials have been pitted against each other, resulting in a distressing atmosphere," he added.


Sereno, on Monday, reiterated she will not step down as Chief Justice.

"Out of love for the judiciary, I must continue my course. I will not resign," she said during a show of support of several civil groups.

The Chief Justice said if she resigns, other high-ranking officials may be the next victims of those in power.

Sereno said groups who called for her resignation only "succumbed to the pressure."

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Monday said Sereno should listen to the calls of the groups.

"The decision to resign is one to be made by the Chief Justice alone. At most, what we are going to say is that we hope she takes into consideration the sentiments of everyone, all the stakeholders," he said in a media briefing.

While the flag-raising ceremony was ongoing, around 30 members of the group Pwersa ng Pamayanan Para sa Voluntarismo at Reporma held placards outside the Supreme Court to show support for the Chief Justice. They wore white to counter the "Red Mondays" at the SC.

READ: Sereno to 'politicians': Do not clamp down on the judiciary

Groups of women have called for a #WhiteMonday on Sunday, encouraging people to join the campaign against justices and officials of the High Court who supported her indefinite leave.

The campaign urges participants to take a photo of themselves and post it on Facebook with the hashtag, #dontresignCJ.

Nine SC justices attended today's flag ceremony, with some of them wearing red ties.

Last week, 10 justices attended the Supreme Court's first flag raising after Sereno went on an indefinite leave to prepare for the impeachment trial at the Senate.

READ: SC justices, officials attend flag-raising ceremony in red

The House Justice Committee, voting 38-2 on Thursday, said there is probable cause to impeach Sereno.

READ: Sereno on House panel vote: I knew the numbers were not in my favor

The committee's five chairpersons will draft the committee report listing the articles of impeachment to be submitted to the House plenary. Members of the committee will meet on March 14 to approve the report.

The top magistrate is accused of violating the Constitution, corruption, and other high crimes which are valid grounds for impeachment under the Constitution.

Aside from the impeachment, Solicitor General Jose Calida also filed a quo warranto case against Sereno, saying she should be ousted from office since her appointment is not valid due to noncompliance in the requirements when she applied for the position.

READ: Chief Justice Sereno 'unlawfully holding position' — SolGen