Senate can't review SC decision on quo warranto vs Sereno: ex-justice

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 30 2018 05:19 PM

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MANILA - A former Supreme Court magistrate believes the Senate cannot review the SC's decision if the high tribunal grants a quo warranto petition nullifying the appointment of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

"That will really bring about a constitutional crisis—the Senate reversing or setting aside a decision of the Supreme Court," retired SC Associate Justice Vicente Mendoza told ANC's Headstart.

Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III earlier told reporters that if the Supreme Court nullifies Sereno's appointment as Chief Justice, the impeachment trial of Sereno may still proceed if majority of senators reject the decision. 

Mendoza, however, said Pimentel could have been misquoted or was not able to explain his statement during the forum because "he could not have meant that."

Mendoza, who taught some of the magistrates such as Sereno and Associate Justices Teresita De Castro and Antonio Carpio, said he was shocked to see the magistrates testifying against their Chief Justice in a congressional hearing.

"I’ve been teaching students the value of having an independent judiciary...You cannot have a Supreme Court which is a house divided. They may disagree all they want, but at the end of the day, they should always sit together as brethren," he said.

The Supreme Court is set to decide on the quo warranto petition by May 11, according to an ABS-CBN source.

A draft by Associate Justice Noel Tijam, the justice to whom the case was raffled, supposedly granted the government's plea, declaring Sereno’s appointment on August 24, 2012 null and void due to her failure to meet the eligibility requirement set by the Judicial and Bar Council upon her application for the top judicial post in 2012.