House: Impeachment case vs Sereno 'moot and academic'

MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives is set to render as “moot and academic” the pending impeachment proceedings against ousted Supreme Court (SC) chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. 

Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas announced this in separate statements on Tuesday, June 19, the same day the SC voted to affirm with finality the quo warranto petition nullifying Sereno’s appointment.

“The Supreme Court ruling has also rendered moot and academic the impeachment proceedings against Sereno at the House of Representatives. As a consequence, we would now have to consign such proceedings to our archives,” Alvarez said in a statement.

Fariñas, who also heads the House committee on rules, said the panel will recommend to the House plenary the dismissal of the impeachment complaint against Sereno. 

“Without any impeachable officer, there can be no impeachment proceedings,” he said. 

The House justice committee approved the articles of impeachment against Sereno in March, after holding months-long hearings. Alvarez had wanted the House to vote on it at the plenary this month, but had to change the plan following the SC’s ouster of Sereno in May. 

Fariñas said at the time that the House would wait for the High Court’s decision on Sereno’s motion for reconsideration before deciding on what to do with the pending articles of impeachment at the plenary.  

Alvarez urged the public to respect the SC decision on Tuesday. This is despite several opposition lawmakers calling the ruling an indication of a “compromised” High Court.  

“The Supreme Court has spoken… Our Constitution mandates the Supreme Court to be the final arbiter of legal and constitutional questions. Let us respect its decision, no matter what our persuasions are,” said Alvarez.

Vice President Leni Robredo, who slammed SC decision, urged Filipinos to "defend what remains of democracy.” – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.

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