Some senators may bat for impeach court after Sereno ouster: Pangilinan

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 21 2018 02:50 PM | Updated as of May 21 2018 03:53 PM

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Some senators may push for the convening of an impeachment court to render an opinion on the the decision of the Supreme Court to remove Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno from office, Senator Francis Pangilinan said Monday. 

The Senate's exclusive power to oust impeachable officials was "usurped" when high court justices booted Sereno through a quo warranto petition, Pangilinan told ANC. 

"As an impeachment court, if you ask me, we are supreme in our power to remove and this is unprecedented. We're looking at the option of pushing for the convening of the impeachment court, not to try a case but to render an opinion," he said. 

"I don't think we have the numbers. It may be a losing battle, but maybe in the war, it might contribute to a better discussion or a better debate or a constructive debate on the impeachment process and the exclusive power of the Senate to try and convict or acquit an impeachable official," he added. 

The quo warranto petition against Sereno had alleged she failed to declare her wealth when she applied to her post in 2012.

The same allegation was raised in the impeachment complaint against Sereno, the articles of which was approved by the House of Representatives last March. 

Asked if the Senate can convene as an impeachment court, even if it has yet to receive the articles, Pangilinan said: "Our powers have been usurped. If this is our power, are we also not empowered to raise questions about why our power is being usurped?" 

A majority of senators have signed a resolution opposing Sereno's sacking, Pangilinan said last week. 

ANC, 21 May 2018