Senators urged to act on Sereno quo warranto
Members of the Coalition for Justice (CFJ) trooped to the Senate on Wednesday, urging senators to pass a resolution asking the Supreme Court (SC) to suspend the quo warranto petition filed against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
In a letter addressed to senators, the group called on the Senate to prevent the Supreme Court from what they called “ impending judicial overreach.”
“With the Supreme Court calling for a special session to deprive the Senate of its clear sole and exclusive power to remove an impeachable officer, we ask the Senate to call for a special session before May 11 and or to pass a resolution asking the Supreme Court to suspend its Quo Warranto proceedings and await the resolution of the impeachment,” said the letter, signed by group lead convenor, Pastor Caloy Dino.
“The Supreme Court is not a trier of facts. The Senate as an impeachment court is,” it added.
The House of Representatives’ committee on justice has already approved the articles of impeachment against Sereno but the chamber has yet to vote on it in the plenary.
Once adopted by the lower chamber, the articles of impeachment against Sereno will now be transmitted to the Senate for trial.
The group also called on the Senate to assert its “exclusive power under the Constitution to defend our democracy.”
It likewise appealed to senators to “stand up” against what it described a “grave miscarriage of justice” allegedly being perpetuated by the High Tribunal.
In accepting the quo warranto petition filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida and allowing five justices, who have been accused of already prejudging Sereno, to participate in the proceeding, the group said, the “land’s court of last recourse jeopardized democratic checks and balance systems enshrined in our Constitution.”
“The High Court’s actions are not only unjust towards Chief Justice Sereno. The collusion of justices with the executive department, represented by the solicitor-general, and the House of Representatives also stomps on the Senate’s constitutional mandate to try impeachable officials charged for misdeeds,” the letter said.
The group also appealed to senators to speak out and and prevent an “inimical act whose consequences could affect the nation’s interests in the long-term.”
“We appeal that you do not let things slide to a point of no return and act as befit courageous and independent elective leaders of our nation,” it further said. /muf