MANILA Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said Tuesday the quo warranto proceeding against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno is a proper course of action to question the validity of her appointment to the top judiciary post.
In an ambush interview, Alvarez said the quo warranto case and the impeachment proceeding are two different courses of action to oust Sereno.
Solicitor General Jose Calida filed a petition on Monday before the high court, seeking to nullify Sereno's appointment.
Well tama yun eh, yung quo warranto. Kasi dalawang courses of action, di ba? (The quo warranto is proper. Because there are two courses of action, right?) Yung impeachment exclusive yun sa (The impeachment is exclusive to) Congress but it presupposes a valid appointment," Alvarez said.
"Ngayon yung quo warranto kinukwestyon yung appointment itself, yung validity. So tama yun kasi yun naman ay palagay ko talagangexclusive sa judicial branch of government. (Now, the quo warranto questions the validity of the appointment itself. I believe it is proper since that power is exclusive to the judicial branch of government),he said.
Quo warranto is a legal proceeding that is used to challenge a person's legal right to hold public office, while impeachment is the process of charging a high public official on the grounds of culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of public trust, graft and corruption, or other high crimes.
Alvarez said the House would still proceed with the impeachment process amid the quo warranto case, stressing that Sereno's appointment is still considered valid until the SC declares otherwise.
Tuloy pa rin yun kasi magkahiwalay yun. Kami naman i-a-assume namin na valid yung appointment niya (We will continue with the impeachment because that's a separate process. For us, we will just assume that her appointment is valid), Alvarez said.
The Speaker dismissed concerns that the quo warranto petition would emasculate the power of Congress to remove impeachable officials.
"Wala namang problema sa amin yun. Kanya-kanyang trabaho lang iyan (We don't find any problem with that. We just have our own jobs to do.)," Alvarez said.
He also opposed Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman's call for the inhibition in the quo warranto case of the SC associate justices who demanded that Sereno take an indefinite leave.
Mauubos yung justices. Hindi naman siguro, hindi naman dapat. Bakit naman sila mag-i-inhibit, trabaho nila yun? Wala namang personal interest yun na involved (There won't be any justices left. I don't think it's necessary. Why should they inhibit when it's part of their job? There's no personal interest involved), Alvarez said.
Source: Philippine News Agency