By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Magdalo Partylist Rep. Gary Alejano slammed the recent ouster of Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno over the weekend, calling it “unconstitutional.”
During a press conference in Bacolod City, Alejano asserted the impeachment and quo warranto petitions would not have proceeded without Malacañan Palace making a move.
He claimed her removal was a “clear intention to remove all opposition.”
The party-list legislator added, the action has left the judiciary’s independence “broken” and eroded the government checks and balances.
Alejano admitted reversal of the decision is difficult, but said opposition groups coming out to protest signals a “good opportunity.”
“If we do not move, that means we allow the present administration to trample upon the rights of everybody,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the congressman noted President Rodrigo Duterte’s ongoing war on drugs is sowing fear.
“If we do not stand and speak up because of fear, then they will believe it is okay,” he added.
Last week, the Supreme Court voted 8-to-6 in favor of a quo warranto petition filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida.
Sereno’s ouster stemmed from allegations claiming she violated the constitution by failing to file her Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN), which may also lead to a disbarment case.
Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona was removed from office in 2011 after government officials claimed he “understated” values on his SALN.
At the time, his failure to fully report his assets was labeled a “betrayal of public trust.”/DGB, WDJ