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Embattled Philippine chief justice returns to work.

DPA Manila Philippines Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Wednesday returned to the Supreme Court for the first time since taking indefinite leave in March amid moves to oust her from her post by allies of President Rodrigo Duterte.~ The chief magistrate~has been on leave from her duties at the high court since March 1 to prepare for a possible impeachment trial. Her lawyer, Jojo Lacanilao, said Sereno informed Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, currently the acting Chief Justice, that she was returning to work. The House of Representatives justice committee, composed mostly of allies of Duterte, approved on March 19 the articles of impeachment against Sereno for allegedly~misdeclaring her wealth and committing administrative lapses. The Sereno camp insisted that the allegations were not impeachable offences. For Sereno to be impeached, at least one-third of all House members need to approve the committee's findings. Apart from an impeachment case, she is also facing a separate ouster plea at the Supreme Court, filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida for her alleged failure to file certain statements of assets and liabilities when she applied for the chief magistrate post. Sereno was appointed chief justice in 2012 by former president Benigno Aquino III. At age 52, she became the second youngest person and the first woman to head the judiciary in the Philippines. Sereno has asserted~that only a conviction by an impeachment court could remove her from office.~ Duterte has insisted he was not behind the ouster moves against Sereno but admitted that he wanted her out.

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Publication:Qatar Tribune (Doha, Qatar)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:May 10, 2018
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