The two senators are the fourth group of petitioners that sought to intervene and oppose the Calida’s ouster petition against Sereno. File
De Lima, Trillanes seek dismissal of ouster petition vs Sereno
Kristine Joy Patag ( - April 4, 2018 - 10:47pm

MANILA, Philippines — Solicitor General Jose Calida’s ouster petition against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno is a “patent transgression of the Constitution,” and the SC should not be a party to it, two opposition senators said.

Sens. Leila De Lima and Antonio Trillanes IV have filed a motion for intervention, with a prayer to dismiss the Calida’s petition seeking the nullification of Sereno's appointment as chief justice.

De Lima and Trillanes filed the motion in their capacity as duly-elected senators of the 17th Congress. They said that Calida’s petition “is a proceeding whose aim is to deprive the Senate of its jurisdiction as the impeachment tribunal.”

They argued: “The design of the Constitution is precisely to remove from the executive and judicial departments of government the matter of ousting impeachable public officials.”

“This is why the initiation of impeachments is placed in the House of Representatives and the trial of impeachments is lodged with the Senate,” they added.

Calida has earlier said that his petition runs on a “different” track from an impeachment case. He insisted that a quo warranto plea is “the proper remedy to question the validity of Sereno’s appointment.”

The two senators are the fourth group of petitioners that sought to intervene and oppose the Calida’s ouster petition against Sereno.

READ: SC orders Sereno to answer quo warranto petition at oral arguments

But the SC, on Tuesday, junked the petitions filed by the Makabayan bloc and another group of petitioners led by “running priest” Fr. Robert Reyes. The court did not say why the petitions were dismissed.

Only the appeal filed by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines was “noted” by the SC.

The IBP also raised Sereno’s defense that only an impeachment case can oust a chief justice, as held by the 1987 Constitution.

The SC, headed by Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio, set oral arguments on the case on April 10, 2:00 p.m.

The en banc ordered Sereno to appear on the debates and answer her peers’ questions on the said petition.

The chief justice’s team has already confirmed her appearance, but stressed that it “is without the prejudice to our jurisdiction challenge.”

READ: Sereno to attend oral arguments on her ouster petition

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