Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno says she will not resign

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Chief Justice Sereno, in a press conference also on Monday, maintained that she will not step down and will continue to fight the battle for judicial independence.

She spoke at a forum at the University of the Philippines Diliman and talked about the issues brought against her.

"I do not make choices in life on the basis of the easier option but what is the right thing to do".

Sereno became the first woman and youngest chief justice in 2012, when then President Benigno Aquino III appointed her to replace impeached Chief Justice Renato Corona.

She issued the defiant statement shortly after Philippine Judges Association (PJA), the SC Assembly of Lawyer Employees (SCALE), the Philippine Association of Court Employees (PACE), and the Sandiganbayan Employees Association (SEA) joined the "Red Monday" flag-raising ceremony at the Supreme Court to join the mounting calls for her to step down.

The embattled Chief Justice said she did not start any trouble, saying those who called for her resignation "succumbed to pressures". Why don't they want to finish it?

"The (House) Committee on Justice has deprived me of my right to confront and cross-examine witnesses and resource persons arraigned against me is nothing but blatantly illegal", Sereno told the members of the Philippine Women Judges Association during their 23rd annual convention at the Manila Hotel.

"I will not resign", Sereno declared."I will fight with honor, dignity and grace".

The quo warranto case against Sereno was filed by Solicitor General Jose C. Calida for her failure to submit the 10 statements of assets, liabilities and networth (SALNs) required of her when she applied for the position of chief justice. "Moreso if you have no backer or supporter in power", she warned.

Former chief justice Hilario Davide Jr publicly supports Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno's call for the constitutional process to take its course.

"That "wear red on Monday" movement to show that people want to call for the Chief Justice's resignation, a lot of information has come to us that it wasn't explained properly to those personnel why they had to wear red", she added.

During impeachment hearings at the House of Representatives, it was found that the TWG was supposed to expedite the study of retirement and other civil benefits for the spouses of justices and judges who have died.

Last week, the House justice committee voted overwhelmingly to find probable cause to impeach Sereno over allegations of culpable violation of the constitution, betrayal of public trust, corruption and other high crimes.