MANILA - The chair of the House panel that tackled the impeachment of Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno feels relieved after the Supreme Court ousted the country's top magistrate.
Oriental Mindoro Rep. Rey Umali, chair of the justice panel, said on Friday he feels good that he no longer has to prepare for the impeachment trial of Sereno.
"I feel so much relieved by the decision. I need not prepare for the impeachment. From the looks of it, this is the end of the road for the Chief Justice," he told ANC, after the high court, voting 8-6, nullified the appointment of Sereno.
The ousted Chief Justice was facing impeachment proceedings at the House of Representatives. Umali's committee had been preparing the Articles of Impeachment when the high court ruled on the quo warranto petition.
The lawmaker believes the Supreme Court will rule in favor of the ouster plea filed by the Solicitor General with finality, in the event the camp of Sereno files a motion for reconsideration.
"Definitely, we will have to wait for the finality of the decision which to my understanding is already executory. I'm confident that there will no longer be any change on the decision," Umali said.
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said they may still push through with the plenary vote on the impeachment complaint filed by lawyer Larry Gadon because the camp of Sereno may still file a motion for reconsideration.
Nonetheless, Alvarez lauded the high court for "correctly" interpreting the law correctly.
"I think the rule of law prevailed and I think the Supreme Court interpreted the law correctly. Ito ay nagpapakita na (this shows that) the rule of law is prevailing in this country and the Supreme court made the correct decision," he said.
The Supreme Court nullified the appointment of Sereno for her failure to submit all her Statements of Assets Liabilities and Net worth (SALN) when she was applied for the chief justice position.