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Respecting the judiciary: Sotto, Pacquiao won’t sign Senate resolution vs SC ouster of Sereno

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Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III and Sen. Manny Pacquiao on Wednesday admitted that they will not sign the draft Senate resolution concerning the Supreme Court’s decision that ousted Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno from her post.

“I would not support any resolution to that effect because I don’t want to interfere with the judiciary,” Sotto told reporters.

The draft resolution, initiated by members of the Senate minority bloc, seeks to “express the sense of the Senate to uphold the Constitution on the matter of removing a chief justice from office and respectfully urge the SC to review its decision to nullify the appointment of Sereno.”

Pacquiao, in a separate interview, said that the resolution has been forwarded to him but he has decided not to affix his signature after reading it.

“Para namang pag pinirmahan mo parang di mo binibigyang honor ang decision ng SC. Kung ano man ang desisyon ng mga hurado, respetuhin na lang natin,” he said.

The said resolution which is now currently carrying the signatures of eight senators, the six-man minority bloc plus Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto and Sen. Joel Villanueva, will still have to be debated and passed on the floor, Sotto said.

The number of signatures does not represent the number of those who “voted” to approve it, Sotto said.

“You can always sign but later on you will dissent or you can say that you are signing with amendments or reservations. Filing in the bills and index needs only one signature. So whether it’s 17, 18 or one signature, it has the same value when it comes to the floor. It has= value lang sa media. For media mileage. Pero as far as the Senate plenary is concerned, you have to pass it in the plenary,” the majority leader said.

There’s the likelihood on those who signed it, as experience or precedents in the past would show, even voting against its approval or adoption in the end, he said.

“Bordering on the ano yan interfering with the judiciary. Ang tingin ko mahihirapan dito yan because we don’t want the judiciary to interfere with us, with our legislation,” said Sotto.