‘Moot, academic:’ Lawmakers to seek dismissal of impeachment case vs Sereno
After the Supreme Court (SC) refused to reverse its decision removing Maria Lourdes Sereno as Chief Justice on Tuesday, the House committee on rules said it will recommend the dismissal of the impeachment case against her “for being moot and academic.”
“With the finality of the decision of the Supreme Court (SC) in the quo warranto case dismissing and removing from office Maria Lourdes Sereno as Chief Justice of the SC, the Rules Committee will recommend to Plenary for the dismissal of the Impeachment Case against then Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno for being moot and academic since she is no longer a public officer subject to impeachment proceedings,” House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas said.
He noted that “without any impeachable officer, there can be no impeachment proceedings.”
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, on the other hand, said the SC’s decision should be respected.
“Our constitution mandates the Supreme Court to be the final arbiter of legal and constitutional questions. Let us respect its decision, no matter what our persuasions are,” Alvarez said in a statement.
The House leader said the Court’s ruling has also rendered moot and academic the impeachment proceedings against Sereno at the lower Chamber, and “we would now have to consign such proceedings to our archives.”
House justice committee chair Rep. Reynaldo Umali shared the same view as Fariñas and Alvarez.
Umali said the committee report containing the articles of impeachment against Sereno, will most likely be presented to the House plenary, “and the plenary can just declare it as moot and academic.”
The high court, with a vote of 8-6, denied on Tuesday Sereno’s motion for reconsideration (MR).
The MR had sought the reversal of the SC’s May 11 decision that ousted Sereno as the country’s top magistrate.
The SC decision granted the quo warranto petition, filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida, for lack of proven integrity due to her failure to file all her statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALNs) when she was still teaching law in the University of the Philippines. /vvp
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