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Calida points to poll protest vs. Robredo to trash Sereno’s claim on impeachment’s power

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By:James Hernandez

If Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno claims impeachable officers like herself can only be removed through impeachment, then the election protest against Vice President Leni Robredo shouldn’t have been filed.

This is one of the points made by Solicitor General Jose Calida in his memorandum as he insisted that a quo warranto case is a proper remedy in removing an impeachable officer.

“There is also an almost unanimous recognition that impeachment is not the only mode to remove impeachable officers,” read the memorandum which was filed before the SC Friday (April 20).

“Following the May 2016 elections, the challenge posed by Senator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr against Vice President Leni Robredo continues before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal. No claim has been raised that she could only be ousted through the impeachment process,” Calida pointed out.

Calida filed the quo warranto petition before the SC which sought to invalidate Sereno’s 2012 appointment for failing to file her SALNs which was one of the requirements set by the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC).

Apart from insisting that she can only removed through impeachment, Sereno said that in 2012 the JBC waived the requirement to all the applicants.

Regardless, Calida pointed out that “Respondent had the legal obligation to disclose to the JBC that she failed to file her SALNs at least eleven times.”

Calida noted that the University of the Philippines (UP) confirmed that Sereno did not file all of her SALN when she was still law professor.

“Had she informed the JBC of this fact, she would not have been included in the shortlist in the first place,” he stressed.