Roque: SolGen’s move to oust Sereno is ‘unprecedented’
The move of Solicitor General Jose Calida to oust Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, whom the top state lawyer described as “unlawfully” holding her position, is “unprecedented.”
“Well, let’s just say, this is unprecedented,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press briefing on Monday. “While the normal rule is that impeachable officers can only be removed through impeachment, the petitioners who, I believe, are fully cognizant of this doctrine, probably feel that under the circumstance, the general rule should not be applicable.”
“So, let’s wait for the decision of the Supreme Court,” he added.
Citing testimonies from the impeachment proceedings at the House of Representatives, Calida on Monday filed a quo warranto petition before the SC questioning Sereno’s qualifications as chief justice.
According to Calida, the move is an “act of kindness” to a fellow lawyer.
“The Office of the Solicitor General will not allow you to undergo the indignity that the late Chief Justice Renato Corona suffered at the hands of politicians who unjustly convicted him. You do not deserve that,” he said.
A quo warranto, under Rule 66 of Civil Procedure, is an action against an individual who “unlawfully holds or exercises a public office, position or franchise.”
Roque said that the current squabble in the SC only proves “that the justice system works” in the Philippines.
“When 13 of the magistrates themselves vote that the chief justice should go on an indefinite leave that means the justice system is well and healthy and alive in the Philippines. Probably it should be heeded,” he said.
The spokesperson maintained that the Palace would leave the removal of Sereno to Congress “if there are grounds to do so.”
“Now that a petition has been filed in the court – I think there are two petitions now pending in court, we leave it to the Supreme Court to resolve these two separate petitions,” he said.
Last week, Marcos loyalist and lawyer Oliver Lozano asked the Supreme Court on Friday to nullify motu proprio the appointment of the Chief Justice, saying her occupancy of her petition “have caused deep division and dissension in the Bench and Bar.”
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