Protesters warn democracy at risk if Filipino justice ousted

Hundreds of pro-democracy protesters have massed in front of the Philippine Supreme Court to rally for the chief justice ahead of an expected vote by fellow justices on a petition to oust her in a move she calls unconstitutional.

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno's fellow justices were scheduled to vote Friday on Solicitor-General Jose Calida's petition to remove Sereno from the 15-member tribunal for allegedly failing to file statements of assets and liabilities as required by law in the past. She denies the allegation and says she will not participate in the voting.

Police say about 1,800 protesters gathered by midmorning to support Sereno outside the court in Manila where anti-riot policemen blocked an access road with trucks and iron railings to maintain order.