This week the high tribunal is expected to decide on an unprecedented petition that seeks to unseat the chief justice merely by a vote of her peers. Several of the SC justices have openly resented the promotion of the second most junior member of the tribunal to the post of chief magistrate. But no SC justice has heeded calls to inhibit from deliberations on a quo warranto petition seeking the ouster of Maria Lourdes Sereno.
The petition was filed by the government’s chief lawyer, who argues that Sereno’s appointment was void from the start. Sereno also faces ouster efforts before Congress, this time through the constitutional process of impeachment. While the super majority in the House of Representatives is expected to vote for Sereno’s removal, her conviction after trial by the Senate is uncertain.
The chief justice is one of only a handful of government officials led by the president who are specifically mentioned in the Constitution as impeachable public servants. Because these officials hold such sensitive posts, the Constitution was crafted to insulate them from arbitrary and whimsical efforts to remove them from office.
Concerns have been raised that the quo warranto petition will circumvent and undermine the constitutional process. If the solicitor general can move for the speedy ouster of the chief justice, there are also valid concerns that it will undermine the independence of the judiciary, which is weak enough as it is.
Speculative reports indicate that the SC justices are unfazed and are set to vote for the ouster of Sereno. Once this mode of removing a chief justice succeeds, there is no stopping the next administrations from doing the same thing. In deciding on the quo warranto petition, SC justices must rise above their personal concerns and decide with the best interest of the nation in mind.The Philippine Star – May 8, 2018 – 12:00am
ASEANEWS EDITORIAL CARTOONS:.
7.1. The Daily Tribune – One step at a time
7.2 The Manila Bulletin – Kuwait, labor contracts, & rising joblessness
7.3. The Manila Standard – Quiet commission
7.5. The Philippine Daily Inquirer – Missiles in PH backyard
7. Dikit dito, dikit doonng campaign posters– Pilipino Star Ngayon – Mag-Resign!
8.1. For The Straits Times- How to court Donald Trump
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