Press Release
May 11, 2018

Statement by Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon on the Supreme Court's decision to grant the quo warranto petition against Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno

With all due respect, I totally disagree with the decision of the Supreme Court.

A quo warranto proceeding is not the proper, legal, and constitutional way to remove an erring impeachable officer. The Constitution is clear that the only remedy on erring constitutional officers like the Chief Justice is a conviction in an impeachment proceeding.

The Constitution has vested such power only in the hands of Congress. With this decision however, the power to remove an impeachable officer including Supreme Court justices, heads of constitutional offices and even the President is, by implication and in effect, made available to the Solicitor General by way of a quo warranto petition.

Hence, this decision makes the Solicitor General the most powerful official in the bureaucracy, even more powerful than both the House of Representatives and the Senate insofar as the removal of impeachable officers is concerned.

Whereas in the House of Representatives, a vote of at least one-third of its members is required to initiate an impeachment proceeding - in the case of the Senate, at least two-third vote is needed for a conviction - here only an act of the Solicitor General can be sufficient to initiate the removal of any impeachable officer.

This decision has opened a bottomless pit of power for SolGen.

From the very start, we have warned that the granting of this quo warranto petition against the Chief Justice is a very slippery slope. Now we have entered into a very dangerous situation because all officers who are removable only by impeachment can now be removed through a quo warranto proceeding.

It is a very sad episode in our political life. As an officer of the court however, I respect the decision of the Supreme Court but I register my objection.

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