CJ Sereno asks SC Justice Martires to inhibit from ouster petition

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Supreme Court Justice Samuel Martires. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 5) — Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno wants Supreme Court (SC) Justice Samuel Martires to inhibit from the quo warranto petition seeking her ouster.

In a motion to inhibit filed Friday, Sereno accused Martires of "actual bias" against her during the April 10 oral arguments on the petition filed by  Solicitor General Jose Calida.

Sereno said she viewed Martires' comments as a "suggestion that the respondent suffers from some 'mental' or 'psychological' illness because of her pervasive belief in God."

"(S)uch position was purely personal to Justice Martires," she said.

The Chief Justice said Martires has used her faith as basis to assess her competence, other than the issue of the Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALNs) — which were the subject of the quo warranto petition.

"His objectivity and impartiality therefore appears to have been impaired," she said.

Sereno's plea also sought the SC en banc to resolve her earlier motions to inhibit Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Francis Jardeleza, Noel Tijam, Lucas Bersamin, Diosdado Peralta and Martires from her ouster petition.

All of them except Martires previously refused to inhibit from the ouster proceedings, citing lack of merit.

Calida filed a quo warranto, a legal proceeding where an individual's right to hold office is challenged, before the SC to void Sereno's appointment as chief justice over her alleged failure to file SALNs for 10 years.

The embattled Chief Justice is also facing another ouster in Congress, as the House of Representatives will vote on her impeachment when Congress resumes session on May 15.