While I am 12,000 miles away from Motherland, something supremely sad happened in the country that is my home.
The Philippines’ Chief Justice, Maria Lourdes Sereno, was ousted in a vote of 8-6. The ruling of the supreme court judges: “She is found disqualified from, and hereby adjudged guilty of unlawfully holding and exercising, the office of the chief justice.”
Brief background: A quo warranto (QW) petition was filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida with the intent of ousting Sereno. QW petition is defined in the Rules of Court . . . It can be filed against a “person who usurps, intrudes into, or unlawfully holds or exercises a public office, position or franchise.”
On March 5, 2018, Calida accused Sereno of “failing to meet the integrity test when she only filed three of her Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth [SALN] in 2012.”
(Contrary to this, these particular SALN were not required by the Judicial and Bar Council [JBC], the body that screens candidates for judicial posts.)
The Rules of Court further says that a QW proceeding may be commenced within one year after the cause of ouster. But only two months after Calida filed the petition, the Chief Justice was ousted today, Friday, May 11.
There are many dissenting opinions penned by justices, lawyers, and legal organizations. There have been protests and prayer vigils among Christians, pleading for God not to allow this to happen.
Yet it happened. While I do not question God’s sovereignty, my heart bleeds.
I will not go into details, for fear of hemorrhage, as I recall all that had happened—and will continue to happen—in “Pilipinas kong mahal” (my beloved Philippines). This has been an extremely divisive issue, tearing apart further an already uncertain nation.
But I am certain that our God of grace will still hand down His own verdict at His own perfect time.
Meanwhile . . .
I will follow what was blatantly dishonored by Calida and the eight supreme court justices: Romans 13:1 (NLT), "Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God."
Middle photo: by Bullit Marquez/Associated Press