The Supreme Court (SC) has retracted its condition to require Chief Justice on-leave Maria Lourdes Sereno to “expressly acknowledge” that it has jurisdiction to act on the quo warranto petition filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida against her.
In an amended advisory issued on Friday, the SC en banc removed the requirement that Sereno must “expressly acknowledge this Court’s jurisdiction to act upon the relief prayed for, if any” for the oral arguments on the case to push through.
It was Sereno who requested the conduct of the oral arguments, but without prejudice to her objections to the SC’s jurisdiction.
To recall, the oral arguments was set on April 10 at the Session Hall of the SC compound in Baguio City “without necessarily giving due course to the petition.”
The amended advisory was sent to the media three hours after Sereno filed her objection to the requirement.
In a four-page partial compliance/manifestation, Sereno said that she “cannot accede” to the condition.
“Although the Chief Justice also prayed for the dismissal of the Petition for lack of merit, she did so only on an “ad cautelam basis, i.e., only if the Honorable Court denies her jurisdictional objections,” her manifestation stated.
“When a respondent asks for the dismissal of a case for lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter, she does not ask for any relief, let alone on affirmative relief. This is because where a court has no jurisdiction over the subject matter of a case, its only duty and power is to dismiss the case,” it stressed.
Sereno has maintained that the SC has no jurisdiction on the quo warranto petition filed by Calida, being an impeachable official.
Her qualification as Chief Justice was being disputed in the petition filed by Calida who have sought to remove her from office.
Meanwhile, the SC en banc has retained the other requirements for Sereno to testify under oath, affirm and verify under oath the allegations she raised in the comment filed by her counsels on the quo warranto.