THE genuine House opposition bloc Magnificent 7 said yesterday there is no turning back on their plan to file an impeachment complaint against the eight Supreme Court justices whose quo warranto ruling against Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Serrano effectively took away the impeachment power of Congress.
Citing supposed personal biases in the quo warranto ruling, Akbayan party-list Rep. Tom Villarin, a member of the
Magnificent 7, accused the eight SC justices of committing culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust for granting the quo warranto petition against Chief Justice Sereno which encroached on Congress’ power to remove an impeachable official.
"On the issue of filing the impeachment complaint, we have agreed that there should be a move towards that...against the eight justices. The agreement is that, basically, the complaint would focus on the culpable violation of the Constitution by the justices and betrayal of public trust," Villarin told Rowena Salvacion’s radio morning program Buena Manong Balita over dzBB.
"The specific acts of these justices will be assailed, hindi naman ‘yung buong decision," said Villarin.
Villarin said "they violated the due process clause of our Constitution against Chief Justice Sereno when they became the accuser, the witness and they became the judge.”
"There was culpable violation because they usurped the powers of Congress over the impeachment process and specific to that, likewise, they usurp ‘yung constitutional duty ng Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) to determine who would be qualified for justice ng Supreme Court," Villarin explained.
Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano, another member of the Magnificent 7, said “the Magdalo believes that the eight justices who granted the quo warranto petition to remove the Chief Justice committed an impeachable offense.”
“Thus, we strongly believe that the filing of impeachment complaints against the justices is the only viable remedy to correct this mistake and save the integrity of the Supreme Court before the Filipino people. As opposed to what the justices had exercised, we want to follow the legal way based on what is provided for in the Constitution,” said Alejano.
On Thursday, Villarin insisted that SC Associate Justices Teresita J. Leonardo-De Castro, Diosdado M. Peralta, Lucas P. Bersamin, Francis H. Jardeleza, Samuel R. Martires, Noel G. Tijam, Andres B. Reyes Jr., and Alexander G. Gesmundo should be removed for usurping the impeachment powers of Congress.
The SC granted Solicitor General Jose Calida’s petition to invalidate the appointment of the Chief Justice for her alleged failure to file her statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) when she was being considered as Chief Justice.