Makabayan bloc asks SC to allow intervention in petition vs Sereno

MANILA, Philippines – Lawmakers forming the progressive Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives are asking the Supreme Court (SC) to reconsider its decision to deny their bid to intervene in the quo warranto petition against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

The Makabayan lawmakers filed their motion for reconsideration on behalf of other intervenors on Tuesday, April 10.

Why they want the SC to reverse the ruling: The legislators once again argued that Solicitor General Jose Calida's petition seeking to void Sereno's appointment should be dismissed, as a chief justice may only be removed by Congress through impeachment and conviction.

The Makabayan bloc also argued that the quo warranto petition would cause them to be "deprived of their collective right to bring the impeachment process in the lower house to its logical conclusion."

After months of hearings, the House justice committee had approved the articles of impeachment against Sereno last March 8.

According to Makabayan, the quo warranto petition makes a case regarding Sereno's missing Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALNs), an issue covered in the articles of impeachment.

The House justice committee said the Chief Justice's failure to file her SALNs is tantamount to culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust. It will be discussed before the House plenary when session resumes in May. 

If at least one-third of House members approve the committee's recommendation to impeach Sereno, she will be deemed impeached.

"Clearly, this present quo warranto petition is but a form of forum shopping intending to derail and hijack the ongoing impeachment process to the prejudice of all intervenors," said Makabayan.

The SC en banc is currently deliberating on the quo warranto petition to remove Sereno from office – a proceeding separate from impeachment. (READ: SC en banc sets oral arguments for Sereno quo warranto

The board of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) also filed an intervention to stop the proceeding, but SC Spokesperson Theodore Te said the High Court only "noted" the IBP board's petition.

Who filed the motion for reconsideration: Listed as intervenors for the quo warranto petition against Sereno are the following:

– 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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