SE­NATE SETS DE­BATE ON SC RUL­ING

Philippine Daily Inquirer - - FRONT PAGE - By Leila B. Salaver­ria @LeilasINQ

The Se­nate res­o­lu­tion de­fend­ing the leg­is­la­ture’s power to ini­ti­ate and try im­peach­ment cases is headed to the ple­nary for dis­cus­sions after be­ing filed on Thurs­day.

Four­teen sen­a­tors from both the ma­jor­ity and the mi­nor­ity blocs served as coau­thors of the mea­sure, which asks the Supreme Court to re­view its de­ci­sion to un­seat Maria Lour­des Sereno as Chief Jus­tice through a quo war­ranto pe­ti­tion.

They are Se­nate Pres­i­dent Aquilino Pimentel III, Mi­nor­ity Leader Franklin Drilon and Sen­a­tors Ralph Recto, Loren Le­garda, Fran­cis Pangili­nan, Fran­cis Es­cud­ero, An­to­nio Tril­lanes IV, Sonny An­gara, Bam Aquino, Grace Poe, Leila de Lima, Sher­win Gatchalian, Risa Hon­tiveros and Joel Vil­lanueva.

Pimentel said it would be better to dis­cuss the res­o­lu­tion on the floor “so all points of view are ex­pressed.”

Mala­cañang said it re­spected the sen­a­tors’ de­ci­sion to ask the

Supreme Court to re­view its 86 rul­ing on May 11 to re­move Sereno from of­fice.

Pres­i­den­tial spokesper­son Harry Roque, how­ever, said he agreed with Sen. Pan­filo Lac­son, who did not sign the res­o­lu­tion, that seek­ing a re­view of the de­ci­sion at this point was pre­ma­ture.

Sereno has said she will ap­peal the rul­ing.

With the ma­jor­ity of the 23mem­ber Se­nate back­ing the mea­sure, Pangili­nan and Hon­tiveros ex­pressed hope the res­o­lu­tion would be adopted eas­ily when taken up in the ple­nary.

Stand­ing up for democ­racy

Aquino said the res­o­lu­tion was the Se­nate’s re­sponse to the calls for it to stand up for the peo­ple and for democ­racy.

The res­o­lu­tion ex­presses the sense of the Se­nate to up­hold the Con­sti­tu­tion on the re­moval of a Chief Jus­tice, and “re­spect­fully urges the Supreme Court to re­view its de­ci­sion to nul­lify the ap­point- ment of Maria Lour­des Sereno.”

Ma­jor­ity Leader Vi­cente Sotto III said he would not sup­port the res­o­lu­tion be­cause he did not want to med­dle with the af­fairs of the ju­di­ciary.

Sen. Gregorio Honasan II, who also did not sign the res­o­lu­tion, told re­porters that he be­lieved the mea­sure was pre­ma­ture, as the rul­ing was sub­ject to ap­peal and the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives had not yet de­cided what to do next.

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