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SC asked to dismiss quo warranto petition vs CJ

By Rey G. Panaligan

Several groups have asked the Supreme Court to dismiss the quo warranto petition that sought the disqualification and the unseating of Chief Justice-on leave Maria Lourdes P. A. Sereno as head of the Judiciary.

In their petitions for intervention, the groups told the SC that an incumbent Chief Justice can only be removed from office through impeachment, a process specifically provided in the Constitution.

It is expected that the pleas for intervention would be taken up by the SC during its summer sessions in Baguio City after the Holy Week. The SC may or may not allow the intervention.

Under the Rules of Court, a petition or motion for intervention “may be filed any a person, before or during a trial, and may be permitted by the court if he has legal interest in the matter under litigation or in the success of either of the parties or interest against both…”

The groups wanted to intervene in the quo warranto case filed in behalf of the government by Solicitor General Jose C. Calida.

On orders of the SC, Sereno had filed her comment and sought the dismissal of the petition for lack of jurisdiction and merit. Calida, in turn, was directed to file his reply to the comment in five days from receipt of notice.

It was not known immediately if the petition would be heard in oral arguments by the SC.

Among the intervenors are Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate, ACT Teachers party-list Reps. Antonio Tinio and Francisca Castro, Gabriela Women’s party-list Reps. Emerenciana de Jesus and Arlene Brosas, Anakpawis party-list Rep. Ariel Casilao, Kabataan partylist Rep. Sarah Jane Elago, former Sen. Rene Saguisag, Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan Secretary General Renato Reyes Jr., Aksyon Demokratiko affiliate Kaye Ann Legaspi, National Union of People’s Lawyers Secretary General Ephraim Cortez, Francisco Alcuaz, Bonifacio Ilagan, and retired Col. George Rabusa.