Impeachment is useless: Drilon warns SolGen may use quo warranto to remove other officials
This was how Senate Minority Leader Frank Drilon described the Supreme Court ruling to oust Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno through a quo warranto petition filed by the Solicitor General against her.
Voting 8-6, the high court on Friday grantef the quo warranto petition of SolGen Jose Calida to invaludate the designation of Sereno as chief justice for her failure to submit her Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth (SALN).
Asked whether the Supreme Court’s decision will lead to a constitutional crisis since the power to remove the Chief Justice lies with Congress through impeachment, Drilon said, “Hindi naman siguro.”
“Hindi naman ipipilit ni Sereno siguro na ituloy n’ya ang kanyang tungkulin bilang Chief Justice,” Drilon said in a radio interview.
“Ang problema lang dito ang SolGen now can file quo warranto against any impeachable official,” the veteran senator said.
Drilon added, “Iyun po ang hindi maganda rito. Ito ay isang (bad) precedent na nagbibigay ng kapangyarihan sa SolGen na paalisin o sampahan ng quo warranto petition ang sinumang opisyal na impeachment lamang ang paraan (ng pagpapatalsik).”
“Halimbawa ‘yung chairman ng CoA (Commission on Audit), chairman ng Comelec (Commission on Elections), Ombudsman lahat po ‘yan ay p’wede nyang sampahan ng quo warranto petition,” he said.
Asked whether the Vice President can now be removed through a quo warranto petition as a result of the high tribunal’s ruling, Drilon said, “Yes, p’wede rin po. Lahat ng impeachable officials at lahat ng Supreme Court (associate) justices.”