PRESIDENTIAL Spokesman Harry Roque said Thursday they respect the senators’ move to sign a resolution asking the Supreme Court to review its decision ousting former chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno through a quo warranto petition.
“They are free to sign the resolution asking the High Court to review its decision. The resolution of course forms part of their inherent legislative powers,” Roque said in a Palace briefing, after 14 senators signed the document calling for a review.
The Palace officials also noted the statement of Senator Panfilo Lacson, that the resolution appeared premature, because no articles of impeachment have been forwarded to the Senate for trial.
The Supreme Court, voting 8-6, last week granted the quo warranto petition filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida against Sereno.
The resolution was initiated by the Senate minority bloc, which said the Senate should uphold the Constitution on the matter of removing a chief justice from office.
The document also said that Calida’s petition sets a dangerous precedent that transgresses the exclusive powers of the legislative branch to initiate, try and decide all cases of impeachment.
Those who have signed were Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, Senators Risa Hontiveros, Francis Pangilinan, Antonio Trillanes IV, Leila de Lima, Paolo Aquino IV, Ralph Recto, Francis Escudero, Sherwin Gatchalian, Joel Villanueva, Grace Poe, Juan Edgardo Angara and Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III.
Pimentel said he finds nothing wrong with the draft resolution and hoped that their colleagues would support the resolution.
Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III and Senator Manny Pacquiao said they would not support any move questioning the decision of the Supreme Court, saying it should be respected as the final arbiter of the law.
“I would not support any resolution to that effect because I don’t want to interfere with the judiciary,” stressed Sotto.
“Do they want the judiciary interfering with our job here in the Senate?” asked Sotto.
Pacquiao noted that signing a resolution questioning Sereno’s ouster was a sign of disrespect against the Supreme Court.
Also on Thursday, Akbayan Party-list Rep. Tom Villarin threatened to file an impeachment case against the eight Supreme Court justices who voted to oust Sereno through a quo warranto petition.
Villarin said Justices Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Francis Jardeleza, Samuel Martires, Noel Tijam, Andres Reyes Jr. and Alexander Gesmundo allegedly committed a culpable violation of the Constitution when they usurped the powers of Congress over an impeachable official.
“I think the next proper and logical move is to file an impeachment complaint against the eight justices for culpable violation of the Constitution,” Villarin said at a news forum.