If impeachment pushes thru, it means Sereno’s being CJ is valid PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 21 March 2018 12:06



LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity…” (Joel 2:13, the Holy Bible).


IF SERENO’S IMPEACHMENT REACHES THE SENATE, IT WOULD BE AN ADMISSION THAT HER APPOINTMENT AS CJ IS VALID: There is an important and interesting issue that is going to crop up if the entire House of Representatives will finally vote to approve the articles of impeachment that its Justice Committee has already come up with against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Aranal Sereno.

This issue goes like this: if the House plenary will give its approval to the articles of impeachment and send it to Senate for the required impeachment trial before senators, this will be a clear admission by the government that the appointment of Sereno as chief justice was, after all, legitimately and legally made.

This is because the 1987 Constitution says that only those who have been legally installed r are subject to impeachment. Because Sereno’s impeachment will already be forwarded to the Senate, that would be a recognition that she is an impeachable official, so that her appointment had no defect in the first place. Under this eventuality, the quo warranto case that Solicitor General Jose Calida filed against her with the Supreme Court—on the claim that Sereno was not legally appointed—will lose any factual or legal basis.


SERENO CRITICS AND FOES MUST DO SOME SERIOUS THINKING AT THIS POINT: As I see it, this matter has to be thoroughly studied first by Sereno’s foes. For various scenarios come to mind once her case reaches the Senate. If the quo warranto case becomes useless precisely because the commencement of the impeachment trial by our senators would constitute an admission of the validity of her appointment, Sereno’s critics and foes will have nothing but the impeachment trial as their last card against her.

The problem with impeachment, however, is that, the required number of votes from Senator-Judges may not reach the Constitutional quota to firm up the ouster by impeachment of the chief justice. If the Senate vote fails to meet the Constitutional requirement, she will not be impeached and, consequently, she will remain this country’s chief magistrate for the next 20 years or so.

And because the quo warranto case against her shall have lost its sting, no other remedy would be left for those who want her out. The sum total of all these is that, Sereno will definitely be proclaimed the winner in the current war to kick her out of power, despite the Duterte’s government’s use of all its resources and influence against the first woman chief justice of the Supreme Court. In short, President Duterte faces the greatest embarrassment not only of his political career, but of his entire life.


SCENARIOS IN THE SERENO IMPEACHMENT: What, then, should be done by those who dream of a Supreme Court without a Sereno? As I see it, her foes would be biding their time and allow the Supreme Court to issue its ruling first on Calida’s quo warranto petition. If sufficient number of justices could be mustered to declare her as without any right to the position of chief justice, that immediately finishes everybody’s ordeal.

On the other hand, if Sereno will not be ousted by the Calida petition, her critics could still train all their guns on the impeachment trial at the Senate. During the trial, it would even be possible that the way senators would would be voting would no longer be truly important.

What would be important would be that, during the trial, her critics could once against come up with every devastating and incriminating evidence they could lay their hands on in the hope of destroying her image some more. Their objective here would be to enrage the citizenry some more. If Sereno wasn’t removed from power by the legislators and by her fellow justices, whoever is orchestrating these things against her could then call on the people to be the ones to act and demand for her resignation.


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