Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez sees no basis to impeach the eight Supreme Court justices who voted to remove Maria Lourdes Sereno as Chief Justice.
Alvarez said Thursday Associate Justices Teresita J. Leonardo-de Castro, Diosdado M. Peralta, Lucas P. Bersamin, Francis H. Jardeleza, Samuel R. Martires, Noel G. Tijam, Andres B. Reyes Jr., and Alexander G. Gesmundo merely performed their constitutional mandate in granting the quo warranto petition filed against Sereno.
Alvarez said the eight justices should not be sanctioned for doing their duties and responsibilities in accordance with the Constitution.
“I do not think [that the justices violated the Constitution]. In the exercise of separation of powers, they [justices] acted within their powers provided for in the Constitution,” Alvarez said.
Alvarez also played down the impeachment case that the opposition bloc led by Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman had threatened to file against the eight SC justices should the quo warranto ruling become final and executory.
According to Alvarez, the eight justices did not encroach or infringe the power of Congress to impeach after granting the quo warranto petition against Sereno.
“The eight SC justices did not disrespect Congress when they performed their constitutional duties,” said Alvarez, stressing the high court had also the power to remove impeachable officials through quo warranto petition.
Magdalo Party-list Rep. Gary Alejano, a member of Lagman’s group, asserted his group’s rights as House member to initiate an impeachment case against the eight justices who allegedly took away the power of Congress to impeach.
Alejano said the eight SC members should be held accountable for their alleged illegal act to side with the quo warranto petition filed against Sereno by Solicitor General Jose Calida.
“We strongly believe that the filing of impeachment complaints against the justices is the only viable remedy to correct this mistake and save the integrity of the Supreme Court before the Filipino people. As opposed to what the justices had exercised, we want to follow the legal way based on what is provided for in the Constitution,” said Alejano.