ASEANEWS’ HEADLINE: Ex-SC justice: Senate can’t review the High Court’s decision

Reacting to what Senate President Koko Pimentel claimed a few days back on the issue of the Senate reviewing the Supreme Court’s decision, a former SC justice said the Senate cannot intervene should the SC rule in favor of the Solicitor-General Jose Calida’s quo warranto filed against chief justice on leave, Lourdes Sereno.

Pimentel claimed that if Sereno is ousted before the House of Representatives submits to the Senate its Articles of Impeachment against the Chief Justice, then there is no need for an impeachment trial, as the penalty for impeachment is her removal which has the same effect.

Former Associate Justice Vicente Mendoza said in an ANC interview in the early morning program Headstart, “this will really bring about a constitutional crisis—the Senate reversing or setting aside a decision of the Supreme Court.”

Pimentel was quoted earlier in reports that if the SC decides that the appointment of Sereno is null and void, the impeachment trial of Sereno may still proceed if majority of senators reject the decision.
Pimentel and other legislators claim that it is the Senate that has been given the constitutional mandate to convict or acquit impeachable officials, as long as the majority senators agree to try Sereno even after she had been removed the SC.

Mendoza also said that it was also shocking for him to see the SC justices testifying against their Chief Justice in a congressional hearing.
“I’ve been teaching students the value of having an independent judiciary…You cannot have a Supreme Court which is a house divided. They may disagree all they want, but at the end of the day, they should always sit together as brethren,” he said.
CJ supporters call on SolGen to quit

Meanwhile, group of concerned citizens claiming to be advocating the rule of law and judicial independence on Monday called on Solicitor General Jose Calida to step down from his post after he rejected the call of a private citizen for him to initiate another quo warranto petition, this time, challenging the authority of SC Associate Justice de Castro to hold her post over her alleged failure to submit her statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).

The Coalition For Justice (CFJ) accused Calida of double standard for questioning the integrity of Sereno based on her supposed missing SALNs but which she had actually filed, while letting de Castro get away with it.

“What we see here at work is a blatant double standard. Operating here is a policy of injustice where friends are protected and foes are prosecuted; where lies are spun to defend or attack; where the selective application of law is key,” the group said in a statement.
A certain Jocelyn Marie Acosta wants a quo warranto petition against de Castro for the same reason as Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno — failure to submit complete SALNs.

Calida, however, denied the request for lack of merit.
Acosta sought to invoke the same grounds raised by lawyer Eligio Mallari in his letter as sufficient grounds to file a similar petition for a quo warranto case against de Castro for the same reason in the case of Sereno — her failure to submit her complete SALN.
“At the onset, let it be clear that the Office of the Solicitor General did not file the Petition for Quo Warranto against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno because of Atty. Mallari’s letter. Sereno’s eligibility was brought to our attention when it was found out in the course of the impeachment proceedings before the House of Representatives that she did not file her SALNs as required by the Judicial Bar Council for the position of Chief Justice at that time,” Calida explained.

In her letter to Calida, Acosta said de Castro lacks integrity after she submitted only her 15 SALNs when she applied for the Chief Justice post in 2012.

“The rule vests on the Solicitor General the discretion to commence an action for quo warranto, if he has good reason to believe that the case can be established by proof. Your letter, however, does not advert to any supporting evidence. It is basic that evidence is the means to proof; proof is the result of evidence,” read the response letter of Calida.

He added that Acosta’s comparison on the cases of Sereno and De Castro has no basis.
“Justice De Castro, who is subject of your request, was appointed to the Supreme Court on December 4, 2007. The argument which the OSG propounded against Sereno does not apply to Justice de Castro since it was Sereno who was appointed as the Chief Justice without the qualifications back in 2012,” he said.

Under Rule 66 of the Rules of Court, a quo warranto petition may be initiated by the solicitor general when “directed by the President of the Philippines, or when upon complaint or otherwise he has good reason to believe that any case specified in the preceding section can be established by proof, must commence such action.”

De Castro was among those who appeared before the congressional hearing and volunteered to prove that Sereno’s apparent non-submission of all her SALNs means she should not have been considered for the chief justice post.
Last April 10, the High Court held oral arguments on the quo warranto petition filed by the OSG against Sereno, which sought to nullify her appointment over her alleged non-filing of her SALN.
Sereno faced her probing colleagues at the Supreme Court in Baguio City last April 10, a first in Philippine history.

 Written by  PNA / Tuesday, 01 May 2018 00:00 / Published in Headlines / / /All photographs, news, editorials, opinions, information, data, others have been taken from the Internet | [email protected] / For comments, Email to : Aseanews.Net | [email protected] | Contributor:-

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/ / /All photographs, news, editorials, opinions, information, data, others have been taken from the Internet | [email protected] / For comments, Email to : Aseanews.Net | [email protected] | Contributor:-


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