The chief justice of the Philippines is under attack

Mar 22, 2018

How do you solve a problem? Fire Maria

IN THE back room of a chicken restaurant famous for its banana ketchup, the small, neat, bespectacled chief justice tells a swarm of journalists that she has done her best “to fight for justice”. Maria Lourdes Sereno has been having to fight harder than usual in recent weeks. Congress is initiating impeachment proceedings against her, while the government is attempting to nullify through the courts her appointment as chief justice almost six years ago. On March 1st she took a voluntary leave of absence from the Supreme Court while she tries to defend herself. It is not yet clear when she will return.

Ms Sereno’s detractors have come up with no fewer than 27 complaints against her, from claiming unduly lavish expenses to failing to file all the necessary paperwork during her previous job as a university professor. But many believe the real reason for the campaign to remove her is her outspoken criticism of the government’s...

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