Statement on the Quo Warranto against Chief Justice Sereno

The recent move to oust Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno by any and all means casts a dark shadow upon the rule of law in the country. In particular, we are deeply disturbed over the quo warranto against the Chief Justice. This must be stopped, lest we risk courting another institutional crisis.

We need not repeat what others have said that the accusations against the Chief Justice are weak to warrant her removal. More importantly, the quo warranto proceeding is not the constitutional way to remove the Chief Justice or for that matter any member of the Supreme Court. The Constitution is clear on this matter:  Impeachment is the mechanism to remove a sitting Justice.

The quo warranto proceeding aimed at questioning the Chief Justice’s authority to hold office is not only unconstitutional, it sets a dangerous precedent for the country. We must not allow a practice wherein impeachable officials especially the high officials of the land like the President or the Chief Justice are removed, if warranted, through means other than impeachment. The Justices of the Supreme Court would be wise to dismiss the petition for quo warranto immediately for it threatens the very institution they serve in.

We are at a crossroads, and the country cannot afford intense polarization. The country is already facing extreme scrutiny around the world for reported human rights violations in the war on drugs. Our democratic institutions remain fragile and are prone to politicization. If the Chief Justice is removed for no good reason, we will invite further criticism and polarization. Worse, our institutions will further be eroded. All this does not augur well for our long-term prosperity.

We ask the Justices of the Supreme Court to exercise prudence and reason, and think of the public interest and the future of our institutions. We oppose the ouster of the Chief Justice through controversial and polarizing means.

 

AER Fellows and Members:

Madeiline Joy Aloria

Jenina Joy Chavez

Jo-Ann L. Diosana

Ramon L. Fernan III

Joseph Anthony Lim

Cielo Magno

Arjay Mercado

Rene Ofreneo

Rafael M. Paredes

Victoria V. Quimbo

Rene R. Raya

Joyce Sierra

Filomeno S. Sta. Ana III

Karla Michelle Yu

 

9 May 2018

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