Koko: With Sereno removed, constitutional crisis may happen
The removal of former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno could trigger a “constitutional crisis,” Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said on Saturday.
A crisis, according to Pimentel, will happen if the House of Representatives would invalidate the removal of the Supreme Court (SC) on Sereno.
“Bakit ko sinabi na magkaka-crisis tayo? Kasi sa mata ng Supreme Court, tanggal na si Chief Justice eh, [pero kung] sa mata ng Kongreso, hindi pa tanggal si Chief Justice, then we have a problem. Kasi ano talagang status niya? Tanggal o hindi tanggal?” Pimentel said in an interview with DWIZ.
“Pero kung sa tingin ng House wala na silang kailangang i-impeach kasi tanggal na ang Chief Justice, eh wala tayong constitutional crisis dito,” he added.
Sereno was ousted by the SC on Friday after eight justices approved the quo warranto petition filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida — the principal lawyer of the government.
However, supporters and some senators said that the quo warranto petition should be junked saying only an impeachment court can oust a Chief Justice.
Pimentel, nevertheless, said that the Senate nor any branch of the government could not dictate the House of Representatives on the fate of Sereno.
“Pagdating sa impeachment ng House, autonomous naman sila doon, wala ring makakadikta sa kanila,” Pimentel noted.
“Hindi sila pwedeng diktahan ng Senate, hindi sila pwedeng diktahan ng Executive branch, hindi sila pwedeng diktahan ng Judicial branch. Sa kanilang decision din yun, sa kanilang pag-iisip din yun. So, respeto din yun,” he added.
Pimentel earlier urged the SC to review its decision in removing Sereno and to give her a chance to file a motion for reconsideration.
“Let us all uphold the rule of law. The people must be given time to review this decision. And the Supreme Court itself must also take the time to review its own decision. If the Supreme Court is not supreme in everything then it is also not infallible in everything,” Pimentel said in a statement.
“The respondent Chief Justice must be given the opportunity to file a Motion for Reconsideration. God bless our beloved country,” he added. /jpv
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