DUMAGUETE CITY – The People of Negros Oriental join the fourteen or majority of the 24 senators last Thursday who signed a resolution, “respectfully” urging the Supreme Court to review its decision that ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, “The Senate has the duty and responsibility to formally communicate with the Supreme Court and ask it to review its decision and restore balance among the different coequal branches of the government,” Hontiveros, one of the signatories to the resolution, said in a statement.
The other senators who signed the resolution were Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, Franklin Drilon, Francis Pangilinan, Antonio Trillanes IV, Leila de Lima, Bam Aquino, Ralph Recto, Francis Escudero, Sherwin Gatchalian, Joel Villanueva, Grace Poe, Sonny Angara and Loren Legarda.
A copy of the draft resolution emailed to reporters by Hontiveros’ office pointed out that the House of Representatives, under the Constitution, should have exclusive power to initiate all impeachment cases while the Senate has the “sole power to try and decide all cases of impeachment.”
“The Supreme Court’s decision to grant the quo warranto petition sets a dangerous precedent that transgresses the exclusive powers of the legislative branch to initiate, try and decide all cases of impeachment,” it said.
Voting 8-6 last Friday, the high tribunal granted the quo warranto petition filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida against Sereno.
“The Senate recognizes that the continued harmonious independence of these branches lies in the faithful adherence of each branch of government to the Constitution,” said the draft measure.
“Now therefore, be it resolved as it is hereby resolved to express the sense of the Senate of the Philippines to uphold the Constitution on the matter of removing a Chief Justice from office, and respectfully urge the Supreme Court to review its decision to nullify the appointment of Maria Lourdes Sereno as Chief of Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines,” it further said.