MANILA, May 23, 2018–A Catholic bishop is supporting plans to impeach the magistrates who voted to oust Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said the eight justices who ruled in favor of the quo warranto plea brought by the government to invalidate Sereno’s appointment “have abused their power”.
“They have done something unconstitutional, especially those who should have inhibited themselves,” said Pabillo, who chairs the bishops’ Commission on the Laity.
Retired Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr. earlier said the justices can be impeached for violating the Constitution which provides that the chief justice may be removed from office only through an impeachment process.
He was referring to Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Francis Jardeleza, Samuel Martires, Noel Tijam, Andres Reyes Jr., and Alexander Gesmundo.
Opposition lawmakers, meanwhile, said they are filing the impeachment charges before May 30 or before the 17th Congress ends its second regular session.
‘Disgrace and ignominy’
Fr. Edwin Gariguez, executive secretary of the bishops’ National Secretariat for Social Action (Nassa), said the justices who ousted Sereno “no longer have honor and credibility”.
“They brought disgrace and ignominy to the judicial system with their evident partiality and subservience to political patron in Malacañang. They should resign or be impeached,” he said.