Drilon: Resolution urging SC review of Sereno ouster may no longer be pushed
The Senate may no longer push for the adoption of a resolution seeking a review of the Supreme Court’s (SC) decision to grant a quo warranto petition to oust former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said on Tuesday that senators may now be “reluctant” to tackle the resolution after the high court affirmed its earlier decision to oust Sereno.
“As a practical matter, the majority in the Senate can assert that the issue is now academic and would therefore be reluctant to debate on the quo warranto resolution,” he told reporters.
Majority of his colleagues may also no longer see the need for the Senate to express its sense as an institution.
“While personally I still believe that there is nothing wrong with expressing an opinion on a decision of the SC, the majority may feel that we can express our individual beliefs on the quo warranto but not the Senate as an institution,” he said.
At least 14 senators previously signed filed a resolution urging the SC to review its decision to oust Sereno through a quo warranto petition.
The resolution was briefly debated on the floor on the last session day before the chamber adjourned for a legislative break.
Drilon said he was not surprised that the SC refused to reverse its ruling as it’s really difficult to reverse a decision rendered by the majority of justices.
“As I said at the start of all of these questions, this is a slippery slope. Now, any officer who is subject to impeachment can now be removed through a quo warranto proceeding,” he said.
Drilon’s colleagues, however, believe that the resolution could be still be adopted.
Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III said the Senate could still adopt the resolution to express the “sense of the Senate.”
“It is not meant for any other purpose. Hence, it can be passed anytime depending on the sense of the majority,” he said.
For his part, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, who had questioned the proposed resolution, agreed that it would still be taken up on the plenary floor.
“While it is obvious that the SC’s final ruling on the petition for quo warranto has rendered the draft resolution moot, academic and without purpose, still, its disposition is something that we as a collegial body will have to vote upon when the third regular session of the 17th Congress opens in July,” he said.
Meanwhile, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said that with the SC decision, President Rodrigo Duterte has again “succeeded in destroying another bulwark of our fragile Democracy, the Supreme Court.”
“Now, only half of the Senate stands in his way from completely installing his ruthless and corrupt authoritarian regime,” he said. – with reports from DJ Yap /ee
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