MANILA The quo warranto petition filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno will not affect the impeachment case filed against her before the House justice committee, its chairman said on Monday.
In an interview, House justice committee chairman Reynaldo Umali said the quo warranto proceeding differs in jurisdiction with that of an impeachment proceeding.
"Iba yung jurisdiction ng quo warranto (A quo warranto has a different jurisdiction). Quo warranto presumes that the appointed official is not qualified to be appointed or was not qualified to be appointed. (It involves the) issue of qualification that is not covered by impeachment," Umali said.
Quo warranto is a legal proceeding which is used to challenge a person's legal right to hold public office; meanwhile, an 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.
"Impeachment presupposes a valid appointment while quo warranto questions the qualifications of an officer and that is well within the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court," Umali said.
He said if Sereno's appointment would be deemed invalid, it will "render the impeachment proceedings functus officio, mooted."
Umali said until the high court invalidates Sereno's appointment, it is still considered valid. Thus, both quo warranto and impeachment proceedings can "proceed simultaneously".
The House of Representatives justice committee is set to vote Thursday if there is probable cause in the impeachment complaint lodged against Sereno.
The House justice panel has wrapped up its impeachment deliberations last week.
Source: Philippine News Agency