MANILA - Asking the Supreme Court to remove its own chief is "outside the constitution," Vice President Leni Robredo said Thursday.
Instead, the impeachment process should be allowed to run its course, Robredo said, after the House committee on justice voted that there was enough grounds to impeach Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
A week before the House committee vote, the Solicitor General filed a quo warranto petition before the SC, asking it to void Sereno's appointment due to alleged misdeclaration of wealth.
"Yung quo warranto, outside the Constitution. Yung impeachable officers sinasabi ng batas na pwede lang matanggal through impeachment," Robredo told a women's forum.
(Quo warranto is outside the Constitution. The law says impeachable officials may be removed only through impeachment.)
"Kung pagbotohan na i-elevate sa Senate, aabangan natin ang proceedings sa Senate kasi lahat naman tayo gusto katotohanan," Robredo said.
(If the vote will be to elevate it to the Senate, we should wait for the proceedings there because we all want the truth to come out.)
The House body will now draft articles of impeachment against Sereno, which will be submitted to the plenary for approval.
If the complaint hurdles the House plenary, it will be forwarded to the Senate, which will act as an impeachment court. A two-thirds vote of all senators is required to remove her from office.
The complaint filed by lawyer Lorenzo Gadon said Sereno should be impeached for culpable of violation of the Constitution, betrayal of public trust, corruption, and other high crimes.
Gadon has accused Sereno of misdeclaring her wealth, insisting on the purchase of a P5.1-million sports utility vehicle, and delaying the benefits of retired SC personnel. She has denied the charges.
In her speech for International Women's Day, Robredo also said more and more women are subjected to harassment and much has to be done to achieve gender equality.
"We can begin by teaching our young boys at home to wash their own clothes," Robredo said.
While “society is kinder to men than women” it still the “greatest time to be a woman” and fight gender inequality, said Robredo, a widowed mother of three.