Duterte government asks Supreme Court to expel chief justice

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Duterte government asks Supreme Court to expel chief justice
FILE - In this Aug. 28, 2014 file photo, Philippine Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno gestures while speaking to reporters in Manila, Philippines. The Philippine government's legal counsel has asked Supreme Court justices to expel their chief justice for allegedly failing to publicly declare her assets as required by law in a new attempt to remove the highest judicial leader the president has wanted to be expelled. Solicitor General Jose Calida accused Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno Monday, March 5, 2018, of failing to file her annual statement of assets and liabilities 10 times in the past in what he added was a blow to her integrity that all justices should have as required by the Constitution.(AP Photo/Aaron Favila, File)

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine government’s legal counsel has asked the Supreme Court to expel the chief justice for not declaring her assets in a new attempt to remove the nation’s judicial leader.

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno went on leave from the court last week because she expects to be impeached this month by the House of Representatives, which is dominated by President Rodrigo Duterte’s allies. She says she can only be removed by conviction in an impeachment trial.

Solicitor General Jose Calida said in a Supreme Court petition on Monday that Sereno failed to file the required annual statement of assets and liabilities 10 times and said the failures were a blow to her integrity.

Calida says the Judicial Bar Council recommended Sereno for the office despite the missing files.