By Hannah Torregoza
Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito today said he finds the Supreme Court’s landmark decision ousting Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno unfortunate as it is an encroachment of Congress’ exclusive right to impeach impeachable officials.
“All of us public officials took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. That is our sacred duty,” Ejercito said when sought to comment on the SC en banc ruling on the quo warranto petition filed against Sereno.
“While the full decision of the Supreme Court has yet to be made public, I find the decision of the high court on the quo warranto petition as an encroachment on the exclusive right of Congress to impeach and try impeachable officers,” he said.
Ejercito said that regardless of one’s position with respect to the charges against the Chief Justice, “what is alarming is the blatant disregard of the highest law of the land.”
“I urge the public to remain calm. Despite this setback let us not lose our confidence in our democracy,” Ejercito said.
“Our institutions and our people have, on many occasions, demonstrated their resiliency in the face of assaults on our democracy,” the senator stressed.
The SC, voting 8-6, granted the quo warranto petition against Sereno, which seeks the invalidation of the chief magistrate’s appointment to the country’s highest judiciary post in 2012.
Theodore Te, SC spokesperson, said the ruling is immediately executory and the Judicial Bar Council (JBC) has been tasked to look for Sereno’s replacement.
The SC justices who voted in favor of the quo warranto petition were Teresita Leonardo-De Castro, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Francis Jardeleza, Samuel Martires, Noel Tijam, Andres Reyes Jr., and Alexander Gesmundo.
Those who voted against the oust plea were Antonio Carpio, Presbitero Velasco, Perlas Bernabe, Mariano Del Castillo, Marvic Leonen, and Benjamin Caguioa.