Pamatong asks SC to oust Duterte via quo warranto
What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
Thrice declared a nuisance presidential candidate, lawyer Ely Pamatong on Wednesday initiated a quo warranto proceeding against President Rodrigo Duterte — an apparent attempt to parrot the legal action Solicitor General Jose Calida used to unseat Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on May 11.
The suspended lawyer petitioned the high tribunal to annul the victory of the PResident in the May 2016 balloting for his supposed failure to file a certificate of candidacy on time.
Resorting to violence
Pamatong, who had earned notoriety for resorting to violence in advancing his political causes, described the seven-page document he filed as a “petition quo warranto.”
In their landmark decision booting out Sereno, eight of the 15-member high court ruled that even the sitting President and Vice President may be ousted from office outside of the impeachment process as required by the 1987 Constitution.
But Pamatong’s petition against the President may be headed straight to the trash bin.
According to Rule 66 of the Rules of Court, only the Solicitor General or a public prosecutor “when directed by the President of the Philippines … must commence such action.”
On the other hand, Rule 16 of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal mandates that a “verified petition for quo warranto contesting the election of the President or Vice President on the ground of ineligibility or disloyalty to the Republic may be filed … within 10 days after the proclamation of the winner.”
In a statement, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that Malacañang respected the Supreme Court as an independent institution.
“We are confident it (Supreme Court) will render the correct and wise decision. We’re confident, though, that it’s (petition) utterly bereft of legal and factual merit,” he said.
The ruling, which Sereno has challenged through a motion for reconsideration, has proved to be divisive.
Lawyers’ groups and lawmakers have condemned the ruling, saying it violated the Constitution because justices and other high officials like the President could only be removed through impeachment.