Trillanes, De Lima ask SC to reverse Sereno ouster
MANILA, Philippines – Opposition senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Leila de Lima on Friday, June 1, filed an appeal with the Supreme Court, asking the justices to reverse their decision to remove former chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno via a quo warranto petition.
In their 25-page appeal for the High Court to “reconsider” its decision, Trillanes and De Lima also urged the SC to either dismiss the petition filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida for lack of jurisdiction or “at the very least, hold in abeyance any final action pending the impeachment proceedings.”
The petition cited the following grounds:
- Impeachment is an exclusive means for the removal of impeachable public officials.
- The SC’s act of taking cognizance of the instant petition for quo warranto is a violation of the principle of separation of powers.
- The instant petition for quo warranto could not proceed independently and simultaneously with an impeachment.
- Granting the petition, resulting in the ouster of the subject of the impeachment proceedings, is a violation of the Constitution.
- There are sufficient grounds to support the motion for inhibition filed by Sereno.
Both the motions of the senators and Sereno cited a proposed Senate resolution, signed by 14 senators, urging the Court to review its decision.
“With due respect, the Supreme Court should have exercised judicial restraint to avoid the possibility of a constitutional crisis,” Sereno said.
“[We] 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; and that the Honorable Court does not allow itself to become complicit with this blatant attempt to circumvent and outrightly violate the Constitution,” Trillanes and De Lima said in their motion.
The Senate, however, failed to pass the resolution on its last day of session, with Senator Panfilo Lacson questioning the sponsor, Senator Francis Pangilinan. The Senate could still discuss the measure but not until sessions resume on July 23.
Lacson maintained the resolution would result to a constitutional crisis between the two branches of government. He said impeachment is not the sole way to remove Sereno and said the Constitution only says a chief justice “may” be removed through impeachment. – Rappler.com