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Friday, May 18, 2018

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE 14 SENATORS WHO WROTE TO THE SC TO REVIEW ITS DECISION IN OUSTING MA. LOURDES SERENO AS CHIEF JUSTICE


With due respect gentlemen and ladies, you terribly missed the point.
You missed it because had you read the decision right of the Supreme Court justices, your letter is not needed because the legal issue at hand was a petition for Quo Warranto and not Impeachment.
The former points to the lawfullness of Sereno's assumption as Chief Justice while the latter was about one of the modes of how a Chief Justice can be remove.
Let us not roam around the bush, central to the issue is quo warranto which according to the 1987 constitution that you are also invoking as your basis in "respectfully" urging the SC to review its decision to nullify the appointment of Sereno is vested on the highest court to, "exercise original jurisdiction" (ARTICLE VIII SEC. 5 (1)," over petition of quo warranto.
It is quo warranto, to repeat, and as such, your letter to the SC is off tangent, if not necessarily misplaced because it is not an impeachment where congress could only act.
Your colleague Senator Panfilo Lacson is right, your action is "premature" and if I may add, you somehow has "disrespected" the SC justices because your letter while stating that you are "respectfully urging" is tantamount to telling them to reconsider their decision. It is sort of sarcasm to say the least because the letter is a seeming insult to their "collective intelligence" as if telling them that they were wrong in their decision to oust Sereno.
Again had it been an impeachment, that will be within your ambit and jurisdiction but no sirs and madames, it is about quo warranto.
Mayroon sa inyo lawyers, abugado, pero mabuti pa yata ang non-lawyers eh, nakakaintindi, eh kayo ata, medyo simplang.
To my mind, being a non-lawyer, the issue is not even about constitutional provision or whatnot, it is just about understanding basic English and grammar.
It is about simply the adverb "maybe" added to "removed in office," so that means, "possibly but not certainly."
Ergo, impeachment therefore, as means to oust an impeachable official like a Chief Justice is not absolute.
To that let's read together, salient part of Section 2, Article XI, "The President, the Vice President, the Members of the Supreme Court, the Members of the Constitutional Commissions, and the Ombudsman may be removed from office on impeachment for, xxxxx xxxxx xxxxxx."
Did you get it, may be did not? If in case you did not, then perhaps if not may be too, you got the wrong advisers or probably somebody was absent when their English teacher used the word maybe/may be in a sentence, thereby explaining the meaning of that wonderful adverb.
That being said, it is unfortunate that while you invoke co-equal branch of goverment and its separation of powers thereof but your letter to the SC itself is intrusion to their independence.
And whom you are vouching? An impostor or illegal occupant? Just asking.

Fr. Ran's final post on the Quo Warranto Issue

Ranhilio Callangan Aquino
This is going to be my FINAL post on the Quo Warranto issue. There are other issues that should be taken up, and the exchange is potentially interminable.
1. The Supreme Court has ORIGINAL jurisdiction over petitions for Quo Warranto. (Art. VIII, 1987 Constitution)
2. Nowhere in Rule 66 (Rules of Court) on Quo Warranto are impeachable officials excepted. In fact the rule expressly mentions "usurpation of public office" without qualifying "public office". Where the law does not distinguish, we do not.
3. Impeachable officials are in fact subject to quo warranto proceedings as the Rules of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal make clear.
4. Nowhere in Philippine Jurisprudence have impeachable officials ever been excluded from the ambit of quo warranto.
5. Article XI does NOT say that impeachment is the ONLY way of ousting an impeachable official. What it does say is that such an official MAY be removed by impeachment.
6. Conviction following impeachment presupposes that one has been validly appointed and has committed an offense or a series of acts warranting impeachment under Article XI of the Constitution.
7. But if one who lacks the qualifications is appointed, even without committing any impeachable act, then the remedy is quo warranto, otherwise there would no remedy against an unqualified or ineligible appointee.
8. While the SALN issue is an issue raised against the CJ in relation to the impeachment complaint filed by Gadon, it also was raised by the SolGen as a qualification issue, because the Constitution makes "probity and integrity" requirements for appointment to the office of Chief Justice.
9. The CJ herself in a dissent in the Corona Case articulated the position that failure to submit the SALN when this was required was tantamount to lack of integrity.
10. The Senate's jurisdiction was NEVER trumped. Senate has jurisdiction to try an impeachment case only when Articles of Impeachment have been filed. So far, no article of impeachment has been filed by the House of Representatives.
11. Furthermore, Senate has NO jurisdiction to pass upon a disqualification case. That is a judicial matter left to the courts.
12. I write on the law because I know the law. I have studied the law, earned doctorate degrees in jurisprudence. I teach the law.
13. The argument: Mammals have two eyes. Reptiles are not mammals. Therefore: Reptiles do not have two eyes is FALLACIOUS. And it is exactly the same argument as: Lawyers know the law (itself a doubtful proposition). Fr. RCA is not a lawyer. Therefore: Fr. RCA does not know the law.
14. I leave it to the Justices of the SC, my colleagues at the Judicial Academy and at San Beda Graduate School of Law to inform the jaundiced about whether I know the law or not -- and how I know it.
15. This debate was never about me. Academically, it is about whether Quo Warranto is available against the CJ or not. How it has turned as an argument against me is a clear sign of the irrationality that some choose to wallow in.
16. Last time I checked, everyone is free to weigh in. And as far as I know, that guarantee has not yet been excised.
17. Academic discussions like these are interesting, and it is the duty of legal academics and legal theorists (not necessarily practicing lawyers) to continue the debate. But for state operations and practical purposes, discussions must somehow end. That is why the Supreme Court is "supreme".
18. Those who denigrate the Supreme Court because they disagree with its decision and proclaim that it can no longer be trusted to do justice should not, as a matter of consistency, turn to it, appeal to it or seek reliefs from it. How many of the learned and honorable Members of the Bar who have slurred the Court are willing to go this far?

THE PRINCIPLE OF JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE

By Perfecto Yasay
That Maria Lourdes Sereno’s ouster as Chief Justice by Quo Warranto is a breach of the principle of judicial independence, is nothing more than another black propaganda and fake news of the opposition purposely to destabilise government and grab power from a duly elected President.
Judicial independence is a concept intended to keep the Judiciary away from undue influence of Congress and the Executive and from outside private or partisan interest.
It should be stressed that the decision of the Supreme Court to grant the QW filed against CJ Sereno was decided by the majority of 8 Justices as against 6 who felt that the power to remove an impeachable official under the Constitution is vested with Congress and ultimately by the Senate sitting as an impeachment court.
The verdict that disqualified Sereno as Chief Justice was arrived at by independent strong-minded magistrates, irrespective of personal reasons regarding their like or dislike of her.
This is arguably one of the most controversial and unpopular ruling of the High Court in recent years juxtaposed with the impeachment proceedings now pending in the House of Representatives, which Sereno for obvious calculated political reasons prefers and is prepared to face.
But the decision was arrived at ousting Sereno, despite the enormous political support given to her by the yellow opposition who were pitted against the pro-Duterte groups that the Justices knew before hand will result in a potentially explosive public outcry.
But they stood firm, bravely and unfazed in coming out with a non-partisan decision that they believed was right, albeit unpopular, on the basis of the evidence and law, regardless of the appointing power that brought them to the highest court of the land.
What an admirable display of courage and independence in the face of being lynched or rebuked by the resulting wave of public opinion threatening to break the legal boundaries of free speech because of the inflammatory manipulations of opportunists, rotten politicians and destabilisers.
The Supreme Court is the final arbiter of what is legal and constitutional. And no matter how vigorous our disagreement or opposition to the outcome of the QW might be, its final decisions form part of the law of the land that all must obey.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Real SC vote: 9 want Sereno out, 3 abstained, and only 2 were for her

BY ON
ANOTHER indication that Maria Lourdes Sereno is seriously unhinged is her absurd claim, made right after the Supreme Court announced its majority decision to kick her out of the body, that the voting was actually “a victory” for her. She claimed that five of the eight members of the court should not have participated in the voting, which would have meant that only three wanted her out of the Court.
Read the SC decision, especially the dissenting opinions from those who voted to dismiss the Solicitor General’s petition to declare that Sereno didn’t have the warrant, i.e. the authority, to be Chief Justice. You will conclude that only two of the 14 justices thought her innocent and should retain her post.
Eight justices concluded both that she failed to meet the requirements to be Chief Justice as she had not filed her statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) for 11 years and that the Supreme Court has the authority to act on the quo warranto petition. Significantly, this group included Francis Jardeleza, a former Solicitor General, appointed to the court by President Aquino in 2014. (The others who voted to oust Sereno were Associate Justices Lucas Bersamin, Teresita de Castro, Alexander Gesmundo, Samuel Martires, Diosdado Peralta, Andres Reyes Jr., and Noel Tijam who wrote the 155-paged decision.)
The majority decision even went to the extent of ordering Sereno to “SHOW CAUSE within 10 days from receipt hereof why she should not be sanctioned for violating the Code of Professional Responsibility and the Code of Judicial Conduct for transgressing the sub judice rule and for casting aspersions and ill motives to the members of the Supreme Court.” That puts Sereno in danger of being disbarred, banned from practicing the legal profession.
Antonio Carpio, the most senior member of the Court, voted to dismiss the Solicitor General’s petition to oust Sereno. But read his dissenting opinion, and you can only conclude that Carpio believes that Sereno should not only be taken out of the SC but even be criminally charged for failure to file her SALNs for 11 years.
In fact, Carpio devoted 23 of the 26 pages of his dissenting opinion going through a fine tooth-comb the Solicitor General’s allegations and demolishing each of Sereno’s defenses.
Prima facie proof
He concluded that the “UP’s Certification constitutes prima facie proof of respondent’s non-filing of her SALNs for a certain number of years during her employment at the UP College of Law. In other words, the OSG successfully satisfied the burden of proof by submitting the UP and Ombudsman Certifications which constituted prima facie evidence that respondent did not file her SALNs for the years 1986, 1987, 1988, 1992, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006, during which respondent was employed as a UP College of Law Professor.”
Carpio therefore had concluded that Sereno had failed to submit to the Judicial and Bar Council (the body that vets candidates for judicial posts) her SALNs as required. Carpio concluded that Sereno’s “repeated failure to file SALNs constitutes culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust.” Carpio therefore actually joined the other eight justices in concluding that Sereno must be ousted from the court.
What he dissented on is simply how this is to be done, and in the remaining three pages of his opinion, he concluded that this can only be done through an impeachment trial, endorsed by the House of Representatives and tried by the Senate. I wonder though if his dissent is really a brilliant tactic to argue that he is the most qualified to be Chief Justice now, as he voted against emptying the Chief Justice post.
Carpio even emphasized in his opinion that the Supreme Court must “refer to the Congress of the Philippines for possible inclusion of the acts constituting culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust, as found in the present case, in the ongoing impeachment proceedings against respondent Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P.A. Sereno.” (italics mine).
While listed among the justices who dissented from the majority opinion, Presbitero Velasco, Jr., Mariano del Castillo and Estela Perlas-Bernabe in their dissenting opinions didn’t say a word about whether Sereno failed to comply with the SALN requirements or not. They therefore merely abstained from judging Sereno guilty or not in the matter of complying with the SALN law.
Only by Congress
Castillo echoed Carpio’s views that it is only Congress which can oust Sereno through the process of impeachment.
Velasco on the other hand claimed that the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) must first nullify its nomination of Sereno to the post, after which the Supreme Court will decide on whether to oust her or not. But that creates more questions. Does the JBC, whose function is to recommend to the President candidates to a judicial post have the power to withdraw its nominations, years after they made it and its composition changed? But the JBC is under the Supreme Court. Why would it give to a lower body the power to remove its Chief Justice?
The eight-member JBC is chaired by the Chief Justice, with its other members being currently the Justice Secretary, Sen. Richard Gordon, Rep. Rey Umali, former justice Jose Mendozaa, and three members representing the private sector. Isn’t it much fairer, and less complicated if the fate of the Chief Justice is decided by her peers?
Perlas-Bernabe, the second justice after Sereno appointed to the court by Aquino, echoed Velasco’s position, pointing out in her dissenting opinion that it is “for the JBC to determine if [there was]indeed any misrepresentation with respect to the filing of her SALNs.”
That Perlas-Bernabe abstained on judging whether Sereno ought to be ousted or not is obvious in her statement: “I make no claim that respondent is or is not a person of integrity. In fact, if there is one thing that is glaringly apparent from these proceedings, it is actually the lack of respondent’s candor and forthrightness in the submission of her SALNs.”
Just two justices
Just two justices really argued that Sereno is totally innocent of the failure-to-file-her-SALNs allegations – Marivic Leonen and Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa, appointed by Aquino in 2012 and 2016, respectively. Needless to say, Sereno is the great Yellow hope of making sure Aquino is never jailed for corruption or criminal negligence.
Leonen in an earlier press statement expressed the gist of their arguments, which only reflects a lack of real understanding of our rule of law: That SALNs are just pieces of paper, and therefore the submission of these papers or their non-submission cannot determine a person’s integrity to qualify for the Chief Justice post.
Sources claim that Leonen has been on this tack because he himself is worried about retaining his post, as he, like many UP academics, including Sereno, had not filed his SALNs when he was at the university, since not even in his wildest dreams did he think he would ever be a justice of the highest court of the land.
It is obvious why several senators are insisting that it is the Senate as an impeachment court that should decide on whether Sereno should be ousted or not as Chief Justice. They are simply salivating at the prospect, or hope, that they would be bribed with hundreds of millions of pesos of pork barrel money, as Aquino did when he took out Chief Justice Renato Corona. Or excited that President Duterte would have to be nice to them and offer them favors so they’d vote to kick out Sereno, as Aquino also did in 2012. At the end of the day though, there are only six diehard Yellow senators, with eight needed to block the two-thirds required to kick out Sereno in an impeachment trial.
Why as a nation do we have to go through such a tedious, time-consuming process, when the bottomline here really is that after six years, Aquino’s very unqualified and quarrelsome appointee to the Supreme Court must be booted out?
But this is how our republican system works. There will always be various interpretations of the Constitution as it applies to very specific, unique cases. But it is a body the Constitution specifies that will be the final interpreter of the law: the Supreme Court. And even there, its members will have different interpretations, so at the end of the day, it is the majority of its members that rule whether something is constitutional or not, legal or not.
Why the hell are some claiming so melodramatically that the Supreme Court decision to kick out Sereno means the end of democracy?
Email: tiglao.manilatimes@gmail.com
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Sereno and Corona

2012. Filipinos weren't social media denizens then yet. Smartphones were still priced prohibitively and telcos didn't have the mobile broadband infrastructure. Social media was accessible only through laptops and PCs. Print and broadcast media were still lording it over the country's information landscape.
Renato Corona was impeached December 12, 2011. Congressmen were made to sign the impeachment complaint against him. There were no hearings of the House Committee on Justice. There was no Committee Report to be discussed in the plenary. There was no plenary vote. The impeachment complaint was fast-tracked with the signatures of 188 Congressmen, way more than the 95 required for the complaint to be forwarded to the Senate.
The Senate convened as an Impeachment Court on January 16, 2012. There was confusion among the members of the House Prosecution Panel because of the relative inexperience in handling an impeachment trial even with the benefit of the assistance of private counsels.
Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile made mincemeat of the House Prosecution Panel as the Senate Impeachment Court was reduced to a law school classroom on some days when Enrile, Miriam Defensor Santiago and Joker Arroyo schooled the prosecutors on not only the rules of court but also the rules of evidence. This was in stark contrast to be Defense Panel led by former Supreme Court Justice Serafin Cuevas, which didn't need the continuing legal education the Senators who were legal luminaries, provided the greenhorn prosecution panel.
Once the confusion had been resolved, the Articles of Impeachment had been whittled down to three from the original eight. The trial then began in earnest. It was marred several times by controversy over the discovery of evidence in an unconventional manner. This was true in the case of Kaya Natin convenor Harvey Keh and Quezon City Second District Congressman Jorge Banal with regard to the bank deposits of the Chief Justice.
The most glaring was the testimony provided by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales who read through an unauthenticated Anti-Money Laundering Council report which basically detailed the transactions of Corona's bank accounts but didn't bother to specify their beginning and ending balances as of a particular period. Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago almost blew a vein when she questioned the Ombudsman but she didn't have it in her to impugn her testimony probably out of respect for the former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
On May 29, 2012, the Senate voted on the articles of impeachment. Corona was convicted on the first article and because of this the Senate didn't bother to vote on the other two articles. Three Senators voted to acquit Corona - Joker Arroyo, Miriam Defensor Santiago and Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
It was the ultimate height of irony that two staunch anti-Marcos activists would find themselves in the same corner as the dictator's son. But since Ferdinand Jr.'s election to the Senate, he had often been seen in animated discussions with both Arroyo and Santiago. Civility and mutual respect trumped the animosity of history and it may have been that both Arroyo and Santiago believed that the sins of the father are not necessarily the sins of the son.
Corona had been subject to a intensive vilification and demonification campaign in media. The Inquirer ran investigative pieces throughout the duration of the trial. All the personal details of the Corona family's assets were laid bare for public consumption. Corona was not only on trial at the Senate, he was also being tried in the court of public opinion.
By November 2012, the Aquino administration began going after their perceived political enemies in the Senate. Senators Enrile, Estrada, Revilla, Marcos and Honasan were implicated in the pork barrel scam.
Marcos, Revilla and Estrada were opposition stalwarts who were planning to run for higher office in 2016 when their Senate terms expired. They were considered stumbling blocks for the administration candidate in 2016.
Seeing that they had outlived their usefulness with Corona's conviction and with a midterm election scheduled in 2013, the Aquino administration deemed it fit to take them out of the running for 2016. Revilla and Estrada then deemed it fit to reveal how they had been approached by DOTC Secretary Mar Roxas to dialogue with the President about the impeachment trial. It was then they revealed that monies had been offered in exchange for an affirmative vote for Corona's conviction. Enrile, Estrada and Revilla were detained and held without bail as they were charged with plunder. Today, Enrile and Estrada have been granted bail while Revilla remains in detention at Camp Crame.
2018. Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno was ousted by her peers at the Supreme Court today as it voted 8-6 in favor the the Quo Warranto petition filed by the Solicitor-General that the Chief Justice had not submitted her complete Statement of Assets Liabilities and Net Worth to the Judiciary and Bar Council when she had been considered for the position of Chief Justice.
Sereno maintained that the Quo Warranto petition didn't have any basis, it shouldn't have been taken up by the court and the only way for any Justice of the Supreme Court to be removed is through an impeachment trial in the Senate.
The high court upheld the validity of the Quo Warranto petition as a means of removing an impeachable officer whose appointment was void ab initio considering she had not complied with all the of requirements and mislead the Judicial and Bar Council about the veracity of her Statement of Assets Liabilities and Net Worth. It also ruled that she committed a culpable violation of the Constitution by the act of omission.
SS/jb
Online photo/ABSCBN











'Delsa Flores ug Lourdes Sereno Mao Ra'


Binisay-on ta ra gud ni arun masabtan. Kining naa sa hulagway (kuha gikan sa Inquirer.Net), siya mao si Delsa Flores nga gitaktak sa serbisyo sa gobyerno tungod kay wala siya makadeklarar sa iyang "market stall (tindahan sa merkado" sa Panabo, Davao del Norte diha sa iyang Statement of Assets Liabilities and Network (SALN). Karun ang mga nangankon nga maayong laki sa balaud mi-rason nga bisan pa ug wala sab makaduso sa iyang SALN si Maria Lourdes Sereno angayan gihapon kini nga magpabilin tungod kay 'impeachable official" man si Sereno, ang kanhi Chief Justice. Baya no, lahi diay ang balaud sa uyamot ug sa gamhanang tawo? Taym sa diay naatul pud ra ba nga sa hudikatura pud nagtrabaho si Flores kaniadto isip court interpreter, sa ato pa, pareha ra sila nga departamento ni Sereno. Kanang sigeg pagarpar nga impeachment ra gyud ang makataktak ni Sereno, basaha ra gud ug tarong ang balaud, kini dunay gisukip nga "maybe removed from office" (Section 2, Article XI), sa atu pa wala kini nagpasabot nga impeachment ra. Ang pulong "maybe" kung hubaron sa Binisaya (Cebuano) nagpasabot nga pwede, tingali o kaha. Kung mao, wala kini muingon nga mao ra gayud (could only be). Sa laktud ang gihimo nga desisyon sa Quo Warranto petisyon, mahimo kaayo. Nganong lisdon man nato pagsabot ang isyu? Ang sala sa balaud, sala. Walay bisan kinsa nga mulabaw sa balaud bisan pa ug kini siya usa ka Chief Justice. Si Sereno sama kang Delsa parehas ra, busa angayan nga sila silutan. Kasabot?

Monday, May 14, 2018

QUO WARRANTO ON SERENO IS VALID


Everybody and anybody for that matter is entitled to his/her opinion. That is a fact in a democracy where market place of ideas flourish. That said, please allow me, therefore, to ventillate my piece of mind on the fate of ex-CJ Maria Lourdes Sereno. I believe in my own little understanding and appreciation of arguments that the "Quo Warranto" petition that ousted her is valid, hence this piece, V.A.L.I.D.
(V) Void ab initio- the law is very clear that govt employees and officials needs to submit their Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Network (SALN). It is a mandatory requirement for one to apply as Supreme Court justice and Sereno failed in many years so before she assumed office in the highest court of the land (she started as Associate Chief Justice after her stint from the University of the Philippines), she is ineligible and is thus not qualified to sit as Chief Justice. Further, she has deemed committed a crime for not submitting her SALN many times. It is a penal offense and thus it casted doubt on her integrity as she defied the dictum of transparency if not entirely commited a dishonesty. Be it noted that transparency is important to deter graft and corruption and so because of the breach, the appointment henceforth of Sereno as Chief Justice is "void ab initio". Since the very start, her appointment is not valid because she is not eligible to be so. Corollarily, central to her failure to submit her SALN is the non-disclosure of her P37 million attorney's fees when she acted as goverment counsel vs Piatco, the builder of NAIA-3. When ordinary civil servants would fail in submitting their SALN or withhold declaring an asset, they are dismissed outright from govt. service, if a chief justice failed, will she go scot-free? One does not need to be lawyer to understand the legal maxim of "no one is above the law." As Sereno violated the law she has to face the the dire consequence and one of that is of ruling her not eligible to be Chief Justice since day one.
(A) Alone is she, Sereno is not the entire judiciary- stripping Sereno of her title and position is not necessarily an attack against the judiciary. The SC decides collectively, en banc, so by removing Sereno, only her vote was lost. The very reason that she was axed was because her colleagues, majority of them, decided so. It was not an attack then but an act of the majority of that judicial body, them exercising their power as members of the judiciary. A next CJ, one that is qualified and has not commited a violation of the law could always be found and be appointed. The next CJ should be role model in the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards of Public Officials, one that respects to the letter the Philippine constitution.
(L) Legally based decision- some quarters insist that the chief justice based on the constitution can only be remove through "impeachment." I beg to disagree. The very same constitution has a provision of giving the Supreme Court the power to "exercise original jurisdiction" hence the power to act on petition for quo warranto (Article VIII, Section 5(1), 1987 Philippine constitution). In their decision, the SC justices also pointed out the fact that impeachment is not the only absolute means to remove a sitting Chief Justice as the provision thereto (Section 2, Article XI) includes the phrase "maybe removed from office," to wit; "The President, the Vice-President, the Members of the Supreme Court, the Members of the Constitutional Commissions, and the Ombudsman may be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes, or betrayal of public trust. All other public officers and employees may be removed from office as provided by law, but not by impeachment." That therefore connotes other modes of removing an impeachable official based on this supposed legal hermeneutics. One therefore should not just dealt on a particular law, the constitution has other provisions where one can reason and argue as to its applicability.
(I) Independence of the SC upheld- by exercising their power to act on quo warranto, having original jurisdiction thereto and hence power to act, it preserve the independence of the highest court. What they acted upon was quo warranto petition not an impeachment. Incidentally, the observation of one senator that the decision of the SC on the removal of Sereno is slap in the face of the senate is misplaced. The senate has not yet constituted itself as an impeachment court because the articles of impeachment from the lower house has not been passed through it. Verily, there is no pending impeachment case against Sereno then, what occured was a impeachment proceeding that was haulted because congress was on recess. That proceeding to become a case and its articles for impeachment to be passed to the senate is now rendered "moot and academic."
(D) Defense of public interest- since Sereno is technically not qualified to be CJ, the interest therefore of the public has been defended. The government merely acted against an individual that holds an office unlawfully. The SC for its part decided that Sereno is "disqualified" and "adjudged guilty of unlawfully holding and exercising the office of the Chief Justice." Upon reading their 153 pages decision I find it valid. Lawyers and non-lawyers alike may continue to argue but just the same it will just remain an argument and thus an opinion. It will remain an opinion as the
Supreme Court has spoken and decided that Sereno had unlawfully held the position of being the nation's Chief Justice. Opinyon ra ning akoa migo/miga ug naa moy inyo, inyoha sab kana.