In the ouster of Maria Lourdes Sereno as chief justice, the House of Representatives has all but relinquished to the executive and judicial branches its constitutional power of impeachment.
At least there’s hope in the other chamber of the 17th Congress, where 14 senators have signed a resolution urging the Supreme Court to review Sereno’s ouster through a mere quo warranto petition filed by the solicitor general. The ouster was approved with uncharacteristic speed by eight of the 15 SC justices, whose common denominator was their personal dislike for Sereno.
While the landmark SC decision states that it will no longer have any further action on the issue, court rules give Sereno the right to file an appeal within 15 working days. Depriving her of an appeal will be as unjust as what critics of the SC ruling describe as a virtual revision of the Constitution by eight individuals, with the change requiring no approval by the people in a nationwide referendum.
While Sereno is preparing her appeal, and even when the Supreme Court was deliberating on the unprecedented petition, the House – if it wanted to assert its constitutional power of impeachment, and if its members believed there is a strong case against Sereno – should have proceeded with the impeachment proceedings. Instead the House is sitting on the impeachment and letting the SC carry out Sereno’s beheading
There’s a microscopic minority in the House that’s making noises about impeaching the eight SC justices for culpable violation of the Constitution. But this initiative is certain to be laughed out of the House by the super majority.
The mood in the Senate raises hopes that the system of checks and balances among the three branches of government might yet survive. Perhaps the SC might heed the sentiments of 14 senators: Aquilino Pimentel III, soon to lose the leader’s post in the chamber, together with President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, Juan Edgardo Angara, Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, Francis Escudero, Sherwin Gatchalian, Risa Hontiveros, Loren Legarda, Leila de Lima, Francis Pangilinan, Grace Poe and Antonio Trillanes IV. Theirs might prove to be a voice in the wilderness, but they deserve to be remembered for their stand. / The Philippine Star – May 21, 2018 – 12:00am
ASEANEWS EDITORIAL CARTOONS:.
7.1. The Daily Tribune – One step at a time
7.2 The Manila Bulletin –Peace hopes remain for US-North Korea talks
7.3. The Manila Standard – Disrespectful
7.5. The Philippine Daily Inquirer – SSS fund in peril
7. Kahit nasa narco-list binoto pa rin at nanalo – – Pilipino Star Ngayon- – Favorite Ally!
8.1. For The Straits Times – EU-US ties: Breaking up is hard to do
Jonathan Eyal – Europe Correspondent
Jonathan Eyal was born in Romania, but has lived most of his life in Britain. Educated at Oxford and London universities, his initial training was in international law and relations, in which he obtained both his first degree and his Master’s with a Distinction. His doctorate, completed at Oxford in 1987, analysed relations between ethnic minorities in Eastern Europe. After teaching at Oxford for three years, Dr Eyal was appointed a researcher at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence Studies in London. Since 1990, Dr Eyal has been Director of Studies at the Institute. Dr Eyal has authored books on military relations in the Balkans and Eastern Europe, and became a regular commentator for The Guardian newspaper in London. He started writing for The Straits Times in 2001, and is currently the paper’s Europe Correspondent. He is fluent in French, Romanian, Italian, Hungarian and German.
VEERA PRATEEPCHAIKUL FORMER EDITOR
– The Bangkok Post