MANILA - (UPDATED) The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) on Monday urged the Supreme Court to reverse its ruling that nullified the appointment of ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
In a motion for reconsideration, the IBP said the high court failed to be impartial when when it made "its own evidence gathering expedition" in the case.
"The Honorable Court failed to maintain the cold neutrality of an impartial judge when it engaged in its own evidence gathering expedition and sought to supplement the evidence already on record," the IBP explained.
"The Honorable Court not only assumed the role of a trial court, it even became an advocate and assisted the petitioner in discharging its burden of proof," the mandatory national association for Filipino lawyers added.
In the May 11 landmark ruling, 8 of 6 Supreme Court magistrates voted to granted Solicitor General Jose Calida's "quo warranto" petition seeking to invalidate Sereno's 2012 appointment.
The high court also said in the ruling that it denied IBP's previous motion for intervention because their interest in the case is merely out of "sentimental desire" to uphold the rule of law.
But IBP President Abdiel Dan Fajardo is hoping the Supreme Court will recognize them this time. He said the IBP maintains that the only way to oust a chief justice is through impeachment.
"I think the IBP made its strong position that as advocates of rule of law, we certainly have a stake on this," he told ANC.
Sereno has already appealed her ouster from the high court, insisting that the decision to remove her by granting a "quo warranto" petition is "null and void."
The high court has also ordered Calida to comment on the motionm for reconsideration filed by Sereno--report from Johnson Manabat and Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News