SC justices, officials attend flag-raising ceremony in red

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 5) — Ten justices on Monday attended the Supreme Court's first flag-raising ceremony after Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno went on leave, with some of them wearing red.

Supreme Court officials and employees applauded Associate Justices Teresita de Castro, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Mariano del Castillo, Marvic Leonen, Francis Jardeleza, Samuel Martires, Noel Tijam, Andres Reyes, and Alexander Gesmundo when they emerged from the court.

It was the first time in five years senior justices showed up during a flag-raising ceremony. The last was in 2012 when Sereno was out on an official overseas trip.

The 10 justices also pushed for the Chief Justice to go on leave.

During the event, Peralta, Bersamin, Martires, and Reyes wore red ties, while Justice de Castro was in a floral dress with red accent. A number of officials and employees were also in red.

Sources said red symbolized support for the 13 justices who called on Sereno to take an indefinite leave.

Meanwhile, outside the Supreme Court, at least 10 protesters wore black to show support for Sereno.

This day marks the first week of the embattled Chief Justice's leave. She filed an indefinite leave on February 28 to prepare for her upcoming impeachment trial at the Senate.

Meanwhile, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) filed Monday a legal proceeding to challenge Sereno's right to hold office.

Suspended lawyer Eligio Mallari filed a petition asking the OSG to look into the validity of Sereno's appointment. He said Sereno repeatedly failed to file her Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth, which is one of the requirements for those applying for the Chief Justice post.