Draft Senate resolution urges SC review of Sereno ouster
A draft resolution ”respectfully” urging the Supreme Court (SC) to review its decision nullifying the appointment of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno is being routed at the Senate.
A copy of the draft resolution entitled “Resolution expressing the sense of the Senate to uphold the Constitution on the matter of removing a Chief Justice from office” was obtained by Inquirer.net on Tuesday.
It described the high tribunal’s ruling an “extra-Constitutional means” of removing a SC justice.
The draft measure pointed out that under the Constitution, the Senate should have exclusive power to initiate all impeachment cases while the Senate has the “sole power to try and decide all cases of impeachment.”
“The Supreme Court’s decision to grant the quo warranto petition sets a dangerous precedent that transgresses the exclusive powers of the legislative branch to initiate, try and decide all cases of impeachment,” said the draft resolution.
The Senate, it said, recognizes that “the continued harmonious independence of these branches lies in the faithful adherence of each branch, the corollary doctrine of checks and balances ensures their co-equality.”
“The decision of the Supreme Court to allow an extra-Constitutional means to remove a Supreme Court justice blatantly usurps the constitutional power of the Senate to remove an impeachable official from office,” the draft resolution added.
The measure then expressed the sense of the Senate “to uphold the Constitution on the matter of removing a Chief Justice from office, and respectfully urge the Supreme Court to review its decision to nullify the appointment of Maria Lourdes Sereno as Chief of Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines.”
It was Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon who first disclosed about a resolution being routed among senators.
“We are looking at the possibility of moving for a sense of the Senate resolution reiterating our legal position that it is the Senate acting, as an impeachment court, who can remove impeachable officers,” Drilon told reporters.
He expressed doubts, however, whether the House of Representatives would still transmit to the Senate the articles of impeachment against Sereno.
“But the question is, can we convene the impeachment court without the complaint being elevated to us?” Drilon asked. /je
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