The members of the opposition in the House of Representatives said Tuesday they will file the impeachment complaint against the eight justices who voted in favor of the quo warranto petition removing Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno if the Supreme Court fails to render its final ruling on the issue.
They made their statement even as former Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III on Tuesday rejected the claim his removal from his post was due to his signing the Senate resolution questioning Sereno’s ouster through the quo warranto proceedings.
Pimentel’s successor, Vicente Sotto III, said they could still tackle Sereno’s impeachment on the floor if the House transmits the articles of impeachment to the Senate.
But Sotto said their “hands are tied” as the House has yet to submit to them the articles of impeachment.
“If there are no articles of impeachment that will reach the Senate, there’s nothing we can do,” he said.
Pimentel said his stand on Sereno’s removal had nothing to do with his replacement as Senate president.
Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said the House committee on justice will be compelled to hear their soon-to-be-filed impeachment complaint, and that the case they would be filing against the high court justices will be “strong.”
“The only viable remedy and constitutional mode of holding justices accountable for their blunder is to remove them from office by impeachment,” Lagman said.
Magdalo Party-list Rep. Gary Alejano said it was the duty of legislators to ensure the checks and balance among the branches of government.
He said the only constitutional mode of holding the justices accountable was through impeachment.
“We strongly believe that the filing of an impeachment complaint against the justices is the only viable remedy to correct this mistake and save the integrity of the Supreme Court before the Filipino people,” Alejano said.
Akbayan Party-list Rep. Tom Villarin accused the eight justices of violating the Constitution and betraying the public trust for granting the quo warranto petition against Sereno, which he said encroached on Congress’ power to remove an impeachable official.
“They violated the due process clause of our Constitution against Chief Justice Sereno when they became the accuser, the witness and they became the judge,” Villarin said.