After denied plea: Solons to push impeachment of 8 justices, Robredo calls for unity and 'defend what remains of democracy' - The Daily Sentry

Tuesday, June 19, 2018



After denied plea: Solons to push impeachment of 8 justices, Robredo calls for unity and 'defend what remains of democracy'






A lawmaker has revealed the opposition’s plan to pursue filing of impeachment complaints against eight justices of the Supreme Court who voted for ouster of the former chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

On Tuesday, Akbayan Representative Tom Villarin said that they are planning to impeach the justices who voted against Sereno.

SC Justices: Teresita Leonardo-De Castro, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Francis Jardeleza, Samuel Martires, Noel Tijam, Andres Reyes Jr., and Alexander Gesmundo, who voted to grant the quo warranto petition paved the way in disqualifying Sereno as the chief magistrate.

On June 19, Tuesday, the Supreme Court denied with finality the motion for reconsideration filed by Sereno, thus, she was removed permanently.

Further, Villarin also said that their move to file an impeachment complaint against the justices is to protect the independence of the judiciary as an institution.

"This fight is all about the independence of the judiciary and this complaint will highlight the issues that justices should not betray public trust merely because they have a personal vendetta against one the justices," Villarin said in a report from CNN

Sereno camp earlier stressed that these justices have shown bias against her thus, they should be inhibiting themselves from the petition case.

Villarin hopes that impeachment complaints will stop the public from resorting to filing for a quo warranto petitions to oust an official who can only be removed through an impeachment process.

"In the future, we need to prevent this seemingly routinary removal of impeachable officials through a quo warranto petition," Villarin said.*

Meanwhile, Vice President Leni Robredo said the junking of Sereno’s ouster plea should encourage the public to speak up against those who violate the Constitution.

“On this darkest of days, we must find within ourselves an unquenchable fire of resolve. We must stand firm for a nation where law is an instrument for achieving fairness and justice, and not a weapon for justifying spite and legitimizing oppression,” she also said.

“We must commit ourselves to defend what remains of our democracy, and to rebuild what has been cast down. We will remember today. And in that remembrance, we will find the strength to fight on,” she added.

Earlier, Robredo also called on the SC to favor Sereno’ appeal via the unprecedented quo warranto route as a move that “brazenly tramples on” the Constitution.

"Many of us will, without doubt, feel rage or grief – or perhaps a mixture of both – at the finality of this thrust into the heart of our Constitutional system. Many will say that justice is well and truly d3ad, with the Constitution nonchalantly cast aside by those who should have been its foremost guardians," she said.

"And that rage, and that grief, are warranted, for this is indeed a dark moment for our republic and all of us who aspire for the rule of law. But in our rage and grief, we cannot give in to despair, for this is but one of the many battles that we must fight for our democracy, and for the people it is intended to serve," Robredo added.*

Below is the complete statement of the Vice President:

Today, 8 members of the highest court in the land cemented into jurisprudence a ruling widely decried – within and outside the legal profession – as unjust, both in its substance as well as the manner in which it was reached.

Many of us will, without doubt, feel rage or grief – or perhaps a mixture of both – at the finality of this thrust into the heart of our Constitutional system. Many will say that justice is well and truly d3ad, with the Constitution nonchalantly cast aside by those who should have been its foremost guardians.

And that rage, and that grief, are warranted, for this is indeed a dark moment for our republic and all of us who aspire for the rule of law. But in our rage and grief, we cannot give in to despair, for this is but one of the many battles that we must fight for our democracy, and for the people it is intended to serve.

Our vigilance must now extend to other impending assaults on our Constitution and laws, as well as the freedoms they were enacted to protect. Whether these involve uncontested encroachments against our sovereignty, the unchecked plunder of public coffers, the calculated stifling of the voice of the sovereign people, or the brazen taking of lives and livelihood, we must draw the line and do our utmost to defend it.*

On this darkest of days, we must find within ourselves an unquenchable fire of resolve. We must stand firm for a nation where law is an instrument for achieving fairness and justice, and not a weapon for justifying spite and legitimizing oppression. We must commit ourselves to defend what remains of our democracy, and to rebuild what has been cast down.

We will remember today. And in that remembrance, we will find the strength to fight on.

Akbayan Party-List Rep. Tom Villarin / photo from Google (ctto)
Vice President Leni Robredo / photo file from Rappler (ctto)