Koko: If quo warranto removes Sereno, will it be circumventing law?
If the quo warranto petition against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno would end up with her removal, are you not “circumventing” the law?
No less than Senate President Aquilino “Koko Pimentel III expressed this opinion when asked if he would accept a possible scenario that Sereno would be removed through the quo warranto petition filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida , and not by the Senate as an impeachment court.
But even if the Supreme Court rules in favor of Calida’s petition, Pimentel said the Chief Justice could still file a motion for reconsideration.
And pending the court’s action on such motion for reconsideration, he said, Congress would still proceed with its impeachment proceedings against Sereno.
“Pero ang aking personal talaga na feeling dyan, ‘pag sinabi mong (But in my personal opinion, when you say) that Senate has the sole power to convict, or act as impeachment court, ano ba purpose (what is the purpose)? So that when you convict, you remove an impeachable official,” Pimentel said in a phone patch interview with Senate reporters on Thursday.
“Ngayon ‘yang quo warranto, if it will end in the removal of an impeachment official, are you not circumventing that principle? So na-shortcut ang buong impeachment process na ang korte na ang nag-impeach, ang korte na ang nag-convict kasi ang ending nun remove, ‘di ba? Anyway that’s my personal opinion,” he added.
(Now that quo warranto, if it will end in the removal of an impeachment official, are you not circumventing that principle? So it will shortcut the whole impeachment process where the court will impeach, the court will convict because the ending is removal, right? Anyway that’s my personal opinion.)
Pimentel believes that the time would come that the articles of impeachment against Sereno would be transmitted by the House of Representatives to the Senate for trial.
The House justice committee has already adopted the articles of impeachment but it has yet to be adopted on the floor before it can be transmitted to the Senate.
“Sa tingin ko, darating pa rin ‘yung time na ita-transmit na ng House sa Senate maski na nag-decide ang Supreme Court kasi may right na mag MR ang respondent e so dapat maghanda na talaga ang Senate kasi wala nang iwas,” he said.
(I think that time will come when the House will transmit them to the Senate instead of Supreme Court deciding because the respondent has the right to motion for reconsideration so the Senate should really prepare because there’s no way to avoid it.)
“Hindi ko sinasabing gusto naming umiwas pero wala na talagang iwas ‘yan kasi Mayo na (I’m not saying we want to avoid it but we can’t because it’s already in May),” he said, referring to the resumption of Congress’ session on May 15. /je
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.