Makabayan bloc mulls supporting impeachment raps vs. SC justices who ousted Sereno
House Makabayan opposition bloc might throw its support to a lawmaker’s plan to file impeachment complaints against the eight Supreme Court (SC) justices who voted to oust former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
However, the militant group acknowledged that the move would face difficulties before the House justice committee.
“Pinag-aaralan ito ng Makabayan bloc. Malinaw naman yung tindig namin nung nakaraan, nilabanan namin ang impeachment ni CJ Sereno, maging ang usapin sa quo warranto petition,” Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said in a media briefing on Thursday.
“Tingin natin talagang atake ito sa hudikatura at pag-castrate sa Congress to impeach an impeachable official,” he added.
Another Makabayan bloc member, Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao has expressed doubts that the complaints would flourish at the lower Chamber.
“May impeachment o wala, nag-self destruct na ang Superme Court eh. ‘Yung bahid ng integridad ng Korte Suprema ay gibang-giba na,” Casilao said.
“‘Yung remedyo paano panagutin ay isang bagay na pwede talakayin ng Makabayan… Tingin namin ay mayroong malabong tsansa ito dahil alam naman natin ang mayorya ng kongresong ito, maaaring hindi asikasuhin ang ano mang impeachment na inihain,” he added.
It was Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin who bared the plan to lodge impeachment cases against Associate Justices Teresita J. Leonardo-De Castro, Diosdado M. Peralta, Lucas P. Bersamin, Francis H. Jardeleza, Samuel R. Martires, Noel G. Tijam, Andres B. Reyes Jr., and Alexander G. Gesmundo.
JBC at fault?
Zarate has likewise dismissed Ako Bicol Rep. Rodel Batocabe’s statement putting the Judicial and Bar Council at fault for Sereno’s disqualification.
“Sino ba ang nagsasalansan ng mga application, ‘di ba ang JBC? Bakit po pinasa po nila na nakita nilang kulang ang requirements?” Batocabe asked.
Zarate said: “Ang issue dito ay beyond Chief Justice na, pulitikal na ang usaping ito na nag-conspire ang lahat ng branches to unseat Sereno.”
“Malinaw naman kung ano lang requirement sa Saligang Batas for as long as this is not violative of the minimum requirement, the JBC can relax its process… ‘Yung mga ganung usapin para na lang ilihis ang isyu. Ang isyu talaga ay ‘yung tiraniyang nagbabadya ngayon,” he added.
The 1987 Constitution states that the minimum requirements for appointment to the SC are natural born citizenship; 40 years of age; and 15 years or more as a judge of a lower court or engaged in the practice of law in the Philippines. /vvp
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