Eight Supreme Court justices in favor of Sereno’s ouster
QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Some congressmen are planning to file an impeachment complaint against eight justices who voted to oust Atty. Maria Lourdes Sereno as chief justice of the Supreme Court (SC.)
Akbayan Partylist representative Tom Villarin on Thursday, May 17, said the impeachment complaint against the eight justices will be filed before session breaks in June. Villarin is among the so-called “Magnificent 7” in the Lower House who, along with other government officials, oppose the SC ruling to remove Sereno through a quo warranto petition.
He stressed that there is no other way to remove an impeachable government official but only through an impeachment proceeding. He added that the SC’s decision was a show of “disrespect” to an independent body such as the Congress. Villarin and his colleagues will need the support of 98 congressmen to support an impeachment complaint.
The eight justices who voted in favor of the quo warranto petition filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida against Sereno were Justices Teresita Leonardo-De Castro, Samuel Martires, Noel Tijam, Andres Reyes Jr., Alexander Gesmundo, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin and Francis Jardeleza.
Meanwhile, Ako Bicol Representative Rodel Batocade said, though he agrees with the sentiments of Villarin, he believes there is no point in questioning the High Court’s decision. He added that an impeachment complaint is now useless. He argued that what needs to be done is perhaps to look into the negligence on the part of the Judicial Bar Council (JBC) for allowing the appointment of Sereno despite her lack of important documents.
“Ano ngayon ang masasabi ng Korte Suprema doon sa JBC na nagbigay na kulang ang requirements at nangyari nagkaroon tayo ng kaguluhan ng ganito,” Batocabe said.
(What can the Supreme Court say about the JBC that provided incomplete requirements which started this mess in the first place?)
Batocabe warned that a repeated filing of impeachment complaint may weaken the credibility of the Supreme Court as an institution. – Mon Jocson / Marje Pelayo