8 senators sign draft asking SC to review Sereno ouster
At least eight senators, mostly opposition members, have so far signed a draft resolution, “respectfully” urging the Supreme Court (SC) to review its decision against ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto and Senator Joel Villanueva, who are part of the majority bloc in the Senate, have confirmed in separate text messages signing the resolution.
“Yes, I did,” Recto said in a text message on Wednesday.
Villanueva said he signed the resolution to “affirm” his position that the Constitution was unequivocal, and that is the only way to remove the Chief Justice through impeachment proceedings.
But the SC, voting 8-6 last Friday, ousted Sereno by granting the quo warranto petition filed against her by Solicitor General Jose Calida.
“The removal of the Chief Justice is the biggest test to the foundations of our nation, to date. We only enjoy stability because our democracy is sustained by the mandate of our Constitution,” Villanueva said in a statement shortly after the SC ruling.
“Our fundamental law provides a singular route to remove certain public officials: Impeachment,” he added as he urged the House of Representatives to transmit to the Senate the articles of impeachment against Sereno.
“We should respect the Constitution and the rule of law,” Villanueva stressed.
Aside from Recto and Villanueva, all six opposition senators signed the draft resolution.
The six are Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, Senators Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Bam Aquino, Risa Hontiveros, Antonio Trillanes IV and Leila de Lima who has been detained at Camp Crame in Quezon City over drug-related charges.
Regardless of the number of signatures, Drilon said the resolution must be filed, debated and voted in the plenary.
“If we have the majority signatures, good. If not, let’s file it, put it on the calendar, debate and vote on it,’” the Minority Leader said.
But based on public pronouncements, Drilon said he expects that 14 senators would support the resolution. /jpv
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