Makabayan bloc leads petition to block Sereno ouster

MANILA, Philippines – Lawmakers belonging to the progressive Makabayan bloc in the House on Thursday, March 22, asked the Supreme Court to junk a pending petition to declare as void the appointment of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

The lawmakers and several other persons also filed a petition asking the High Court for permission to intervene in the case, which is between Sereno and Solicitor General Jose Calida. (READ: IBP seeks dismissal of quo warranto petition vs Sereno)

The “intervenors” argue that the quo warranto petition should be dismissed because a Chief Justice can only be removed by Congress through impeachment and conviction, and because the issue of Sereno’s State of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN) “does not affect her qualifications as Chief Justice.”

“The filing of this present Quo Warranto Petition is nothing but an attempt [to] circumvent the constitutional process and to wrest the power to ‘oust’ or remove an impeachable public official away from Congress and [the] Filipino people. This should not be allowed,” the intervenors said in their petition.

Context: On March 5, the Solicitor General filed a petition for quo warranto before the High Court, which asks it to declare Sereno’s appointment unlawful, thereby removing her from office.

This is on top of an impeachment case that’s being tackled in the House of Representatives.

The Supreme Court has since asked Sereno and Calida to respond to the petition.

Meanwhile, at the House, the justice committee has already approved the articles of impeachment against Sereno. It will be discussed before 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.

Who’s filing? Listed as intervenors are the following:

Several other individuals also filed a separate petition asking the High Court to reject the petition for quo warranto on March 22. They are the following: