De Lima, Trillanes appeal SC quo warranto ruling vs Sereno

Kristine Joy Patag - Philstar.com
De Lima, Trillanes appeal SC quo warranto ruling vs Sereno
Sens. Leila De Lima and Antonio Trillanes IV appealed to the Supreme Court to overturn its landmark ruling that ousted Maria Lourdes Sereno as chief justice of the Philippines.
Miguel de Guzman / File

MANILA, Philippines — Sens. Leila De Lima and Antonio Trillanes IV on Friday filed an appeal against the Supreme Court ruling on the quo warranto petition that ousted Maria Lourdes Sereno as chief justice.

The two senators refuted a part of the historic ruling dated May 11 which said that a quo warranto petition and an impeachment proceeding could exist simultaneously.

Stressing that the grounds for the impeachment case and the quo warranto are the same—Sereno’s missing  wealth declaration documents in her 2012 application—the petitioner-lawmakers said that the SC could have “held in abeyance any action that would have mooted or defeated the... impeachment proceedings.”

“The Quo Warranto Petition was intentionally and specifically filed in order to impede and pre-empt the impeachment proceedings,” they said, pointing out that Solicitor General Jose Calida himself said that his legal challenge to Sereno’s appointment is a kinder option for her.

Speaking with reporters on March 1, when he filed the petition, Calida said that his petition is an “act of kindness” to Sereno. He said that the former chief justice would then be judged by her peers, instead of politicians sitting at the Congress.

This, the two senators pointed out, is an admission by Calida that the quo warranto was filed to hinder the impeachment proceedings that was then pending before the House of Representatives.

“[I]t is very misleading to state that the Quo Warranto Petition could proceed simultaneously with the impeachment proceedings, as, obviously, the SC’s act of granting the same—as it did, indeed, do in this case—would render moot and inutile the earlier initiated and ongoing impeachment proceedings,” the motion read.

Appeal has same sentiment with Senate resolution

De Lima and Trillanes also noted that the sentiment of their appeal, which was to assert the Senate’s power over the impeachment of a chief justice, is similar to Senate Resolution 738 which has gathered the signature of 14 senators.

READ: Lacson asks: Does Senate reso on quo warranto ruling encroach on SC powers?

“[A]s duly-elected Senators of the Republic of the Philippines currently sitting as members of the 17th Congress of the Philippines, movant-intervenors have a specific interest in ensuring that the exclusive jurisdiction of the Senate to hear and decide impeachment cases, as well as the exclusive prerogative of all senators to try the same, are not undermined,” their motion read.

The said resolution, however, was temporarily shelved.

De Lima and Trillanes earlier filed an Opposition-in-Intervention, with a prayer to dismiss Calida’s quo warranto petition. They said that the petition “is a proceeding whose aim is to deprive the Senate of its jurisdiction as the impeachment tribunal.”

But the SC, in the ruling penned by Associate Justice Noel Tijam, junked their petition for intervention. The high tribunal said they could not allow it as they cannot act on an interest based on expectations as the impeachment has yet to reach the Senate.

“It bears stressing that the interest contemplated by law must be actual, substantial, material, direct and immediate, and not simply contingent or expectant,” the ruling reads.

Sereno, on May 30, filed her motion for reconsideration in a bid to overturn her removal as head of the Judiciary.

READ: In appeal of ouster, Sereno warns of 'far-reaching consequences' of SC ruling






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