The National Union of Peoples' Lawyers has planned a demonstration in Manila on Tuesday, May 15, to protest the recent ousting of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and what they claim is its negative impact on judicial independence. Demonstrators will meet at 09:30 (local time) in front of the Supreme Court to protest. A heightened security presence and localized transportation disruptions should be expected in the vicinity of the Supreme Court for the duration of the rally.
On May 11, the Supreme Court voted to nullify Maria Lourdes Sereno's appointment as the Chief Justice. The Supreme Court's justification for the decision was that Sereno allegedly failed to declare her wealth before she became chief justice, though Sereno has denied this allegation. Sereno's supporters believe the ousting was a result of her speaking out against President Duterte's war on drugs, which caused Duterte to publicly call for her to be removed from her post. Following the Supreme Court's announcement, several protests broke out across downtown Manila, with many being led by university students who believe the ruling was unconstitutional as the country's charter states that top officials, including justices, can only be removed by impeachment.
Individuals in Manila are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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