Senate to vote on Sereno impeach trial if SC removes her by quo warranto — Pimentel
Senators would likely vote on whether the impeachment trial of Chief Justice on-leave Maria Lourdes Sereno should proceed if the Supreme Court (SC) decides to disqualify her, Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said on Wednesday.
If the SC rules to disqualify Sereno but the House of Representatives still decides to transmit the articles of impeachment against her to the Senate, then Pimentel said senators should have to agree on whether they would accept the court’s decision as valid.
“Now (in the scenario) that we are already involved in the proceeding, ang tanong dyan if Senate will recognize the removal of the Chief Justice through the quo warranto,” he said during the weekly Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum.
“If majority says na ok it’s a valid removal, then we won’t proceed, but if majority says invalid and there’s someone to remove therefore tuloy natin ang impeachment,” he added.
The Senate President said they might conduct a caucus and decide on the matter.
“Magvo-vote dapat kami, I will have to consult, mag-caucus po kami,” he said.
But as of now, Pimentel said it is still up to the House of Representatives on whether or not they would wait for the result of the quo warranto petition before proceeding with the approval of the articles of impeachment before the plenary.
“The Senate is just like any court in a sense na passive kami… no transmittal, no impeachment court,” he said.
“Ang bola nasa House ngayon let us see if House will accept,” he also said.
Pressed if a Constitutional crisis would arise if the Congress questions SC’s decision and insist on removing Sereno through the impeachment process, Pimentel said “that argument can be brought up.”
House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas earlier said the lower chamber should wait for the SC to rule on the quo warranto petition against the top magistrate before voting on the impeachment complaint.
The Supreme Court is reportedly set to decide on the petition of the Office of the Solicitor General on May 17 while Congress will resume its sessions on May 15. /muf
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