Solon calls for Sereno resignation to prevent Constitutional crisis
A lawmaker has urged Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to resign and prevent a constitutional crisis from happening in light of the impeachment case and quo warranto petition against her.
In a forum on Monday, Ako Bicol Rep. Rodel Batocabe said a constitutional crisis may happen if Congress asserts its “exclusive power” to unseat impeachable officials over the Office of the Solicitor General’s (OSG) quo warranto petition to nullify Sereno’s appointment.
“If Congress will assert its exclusive power to remove an impeachable official, magkakaroon tayo ng (we will have a) constitutional crisis. Pero kung nirespeto at sinabi na (But if they say that) we will abide by the decision of the Supreme Court, then wala nang problema (there will be no problem),” he said.
Earlier, Solicitor General Jose Calida had asked the Supreme Court (SC) to nullify Sereno’s appointment after she allegedly failed to completely disclose her statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) to the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC).
Under Rule 66 of the Rules of Court, a quo warranto proceeding is “an action by the government against a person who unlawfully holds a public office or holds a position which he or she is not qualified.”
But Batocabe said impeachment process should “proceed independently” of the existing quo warranto petition.
He said the Chief Justice should make the “supreme sacrifice of resigning” to “spare all institutions, especially the SC.”
ACTS OFW Rep. Aniceto Bertiz, who was also at the bimonthly House forum, likewise echoed Batocabe’s call.
“Malinaw naman yung ebidensya laban sa kanya, we might pursue na lang with the impeachment. Mawawalan narin ng integridad ating SC, might as well mag-resign nalang siya,” he said.
(The evidence against her is clear, we just might pursue with the impeachment. SC may lose integrity, so she might as well resign.)
But for Anak Mindanao Rep. Makmod Mending Jr., Sereno should not step down so she could face the impeachment complaint “squarely.”
Apart from the quo warranto case, Sereno is also facing an impeachment complaint at the House of Representatives justice committee, which is set to vote on its probable cause on Thursday.
Lawyer-complainant Lorenzo Gadon is accusing the top magistrate of culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of public trust, corruption and other high crimes.
Sereno is currently on an indefinite leave to prepare her defense for her impending impeachment trial. /je