Opposition senators, Pangilinan and Trillanes on ouster moves against Sereno- that's Unconstitutional!

Photo file from ABS CBN (ctto)

The opposition senators in the Senate are out and trying to make some damage control to former President Benigno Aquino III appointee Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

News got out that the other justices of the Supreme Court pressured the Chief Justice to file for an indefinite leave to preserve the Supreme Court as an institution. Supporter of the Chief Justice has speculated that this is a subtle move by the justices in ousting Sereno from being the top magistrate other than impeachment.

Opposition senators Francisco Pangilinan and Antonio Trillanes IV, in separate statements slammed this move against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. 

“Any attempt to remove the Chief Justice through a process other than impeachment is unconstitutional. It will be a brazen usurpation of the exclusive power of Congress under the Constitution,” Trillanes said in a statement.
“May I remind these justices that any unconstitutional act they commit now, can be used as a ground for impeachment against them later on under a different administration,”  the senator from Bicol warned.
Trillanes further clarifies that any justice of the Supreme Court can also be charged and eventually prosecuted from graft when they have retired under a new administration.
Senator Francisco “Kiko” Pangilinan, a known Liberal Party diehard and its current president, states that the allegations against CJ Sereno re her failure to file her complete Sereno's Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALNs) may not be as strong as some quarters may believe them to be.
Pangilinan further reiterates that if one is going to be strict in the interpretation of the 1987 Constitution, there is nothing in its provisions that requires the filing of a Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALNs) to be a member of the Supreme Court.

Being a former of the Judicial Bar Council (JBC),he was part of the Council that recommended her appointment to then president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III without any mention of SALN filing. *
“But of course the JBC can come out with other rules. But if you will ask me, there is no other way to remove an impeachable official but through impeachment,” he told in an interview.

Source: Philstar

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