Sereno supporters say SC decision to reprimand her a move to “gag criticism, opposition”

(Eagle News) — Supporters of ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno said the Supreme Court’s decision to reprimand her for criticizing her former colleagues was a move to “gag criticism and opposition.”

“The Supreme Court has effectively transformed itself from a means of truth and justice to a menace to those who seek them,” the Coalition for Justice said in a statement on Friday, July 20.

According to the group, “that the High Tribunal would opt to rebuke her rather than uphold her constitutional rights confirms that indeed, authoritarianism is choking the land.”

“All her basic Constitutional rights were trampled on, yet no one in government was alarmed,” the group said.

“In fact, all efforts foul or fair were made to bend the law to ensure her removal,” it added.

In a May 11 decision, voting 8-6, the SC granted the quo warranto petition filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida against Sereno, whose appointment as Chief Justice was declared null.

She was also asked to explain why she should not be sanctioned for going around schools and other institutions, talking about the merits of the case while the petition was still pending.

Sereno had argued she was only forced to respond to criticisms against her.

But the SC in a recent decision rejected her argument, and reprimanded her, warning “a repetition of the same will merit a heavier penalty.”