Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Tuesday blasted critics who have called for her resignation as she faces impeachment in the legislature and an ouster petition in the Supreme Court.
“The call for me to resign is not founded on reason but only on convenience,” the top magistrate on leave told students at the University of Negros Occidental Recoletos in Bacolod City.
“Ayaw na naman ng ilan na dumaan pa sa tamang constitutional process of impeachment. Nahihirapan na raw ang loob nila. They want peace. But what is peace if there is no justice?” she said.
“Peace is not the absence of conflict; peace is the presence of justice.”
Some court employee and judge groups on Monday formally called for Sereno’s resignation during a Supreme Court flag raising ceremony.
Erwin Ocson, president of the SC Employees Association, cited as grievance the alleged delays in the approval of workers’ promotions and benefits under Sereno’s leadership.
Like she did with previous resignation calls, Sereno nixed the groups’ plea for her to make the “sacrifice” of stepping down.
Sereno also said she was “very, very proud” of the judges of Negros Occidental regional trial courts who claimed they will remain impartial as she battles ouster attempts.
In a statement on Monday, the Negros Occidental Regional Trial Court Judges Association called for sobriety and prudence and urged their fellow judges to be non-partisan and allow due process to take its course.
The House justice committee has found probable cause to impeach Sereno. If the case against her hurdles the plenary, Sereno will be tried at the Senate impeachment court.
Sereno has constantly asked to be given her day in the impeachment court, where she said she will answer accusations leveled against her.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court have asked her to comment on the petition that seeks her ouster over her alleged noncompliance with rules on the submissio