Maria Lourdes Sereno was removed from the post of Chief Justice (Photo: Getty Images)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Philippine Supreme Court voted on May 11 to remove its Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

The court’s spokesman Theodore Te told reporters that Sereno is found disqualified from and hereby adjudged guilty of unlawfully holding and exercising the office of the chief justice.

The decision is immediately executory without need of further action from the court, Te said, adding that the vote was 8-6 against Sereno.

The Supreme Court’s case against Sereno alleged she failed to file statements of assets and liabilities in previous years - accusations she categorically denied.

The Philippine President’s spokesman Harry Roque said the Supreme Court issued a final decision and it must be respected.

Sereno, 57, became the country's first female chief justice in 2012 under the administration of President Benigno Aquino. She is one of several high-profile critics who have found themselves targeted after speaking out against the president.

Solicitor General Jose Calida filed the quo warranto petition before the Supreme Court to seek the removal of Sereno by questioning the validity of her appointment on the basis of her alleged failure to fully disclose her personal wealth.

However, Sereno has insisted the only way she can be removed from office is through impeachment as provided for by the 1987 Philippine Constitution.

Sereno’s lawyer said she would appeal against the Supreme Court’s decision.-VNA