Press Release
April 17, 2018

De Lima hopes SC will hear her opposition-in-intervention vs quo warranto on Sereno case

Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima today expressed hopes that the Supreme Court (SC) will consider the opposition-in-intervention she and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV filed relative to the quo warranto case against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

De Lima, a former justice secretary, cautioned the High Court against potential constitutional crisis should impeachable officials, like Sereno, are removed from office through quo warranto proceedings, and not through an impeachment trial in the Senate.

"I hope that the Supreme Court will seriously consider the opposition-in-intervention which I along with Senator Trillanes filed. I remain optimistic that the High Court will not allow the Senate to be deprived of its jurisdiction as the impeachment tribunal," she said.

In a five-page motion filed last April 4, De Lima and Trillanes asked the SC to allow them to intervene because as senators of the Republic, they have personal and official legal interest in whatever outcome of the petition seeking to remove Sereno.

They likewise noted in their 11-page Opposition-in-Intervention that "the ground raised by the Solicitor General in his petition--lack of 'integrity' for failing to submit one's SALN--is also part of the allegations in the impeachment case being heard in the House of Representatives."

Solicitor General Jose Calida filed a quo warranto petition seeking to oust Sereno whom he accused of "unlawfully holding" her post due to her alleged failure to make full disclosure in her Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Network (SALN).

"Under our Constitution, Sereno and other impeachable officials can only be legally removed from office through an impeachment trial in the Senate. The Filipino people expect much from our justices to decide in accordance to the spirit and design of the Constitution they swore to protect and defend," De Lima, a known human rights defender said.

The Senator from Bicol also added that the SC should "allow Sereno to answer the charges raised against her in the proper venue and let justice and the rule of law prevail."

Note that the Constitution identifies a particular class and then restricts the ways by which its members can be removed from office.

Article XI, Section 2 of the Constitution states: "the President, the Vice-President, the Members of the Supreme Court, the Members of the Constitutional Commissions, and the Ombudsman may be removed from office, on impeachment for, and conviction of, culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes, or betrayal of public trust."

The provision likewise noted that "all other public officers and employees may be removed from office as provided by law, but not by impeachment."

News Latest News Feed