31 May 2018
Mr. President, Senate Resolution 738 has been introduced by 14 Senators.
Mr. President, on May 11, 2018, the Supreme Court of the Philippines voting 8-6, granted the quo warrranto petition filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida to nullify the appointment of Maria Lourdes Sereno, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines.
Mr. President, the 1987 Constitution, Section 2, Article XI, clearly states that members of the Supreme Court “may be removed from office, on impeachment for, and conviction of, culpable violation of the Constitution.”
Mr, President, Section 3(1) of Article XI states that “The House of Representatives shall have the exclusive power to initiate all cases of impeachment.”
And Section 3(6) of the same Article states that “The Senate shall have the sole power to try and decide all cases of impeachment.”
Mr. President, it is humbly submitted that the Supreme Court’s decision is to grant the quo warranto petition sets a dangerous precedent that transgresses the exclusive powers of the legislative branch to initiate, try, and decide all cases of impeachment.
A fundamental doctrine of a republican government is the separation of powers of the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of government. While this doctrine does not guarantee absolute autonomy in the discharge of functions of each branch, the corollary doctrine of checks and balances ensures their co-equality.
Mr. President, the Senate recognizes that the continued harmonious interdependence of these branches lies in the faithful adherence of each branch of government in the Constitution.
Having said this, Mr. President, I move to adopt Senate Resolution 738.