Philippine top court votes to oust chief justice

The Philippine Supreme Court spokesman says Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno has been ousted in a vote by fellow judges acting on a government petition, which sought her removal in a move she calls unconstitutional.

Court spokesman Theodore Te says eight of 14 justices voted Friday to remove Sereno from the 15-member tribunal for allegedly failing to file statements of assets and liabilities as required by law. Sereno denies the allegation and did not participate in the vote.

Hundreds of protesters denouncing Sereno’s ouster rallied outside the court.

Sereno has been at loggerheads with President Rodrigo Duterte and has urged Filipinos to stand up to his authoritarian rule. She also has been speaking up for the respect of law and human rights, irking Duterte at a time he has led a brutal crackdown on illegal drugs that has left thousands of suspects dead.

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