For love of our country, support CJ Sereno, discard quo warranto
The National Secretariat for Social Action – Justice and Peace or Caritas Philippines believes that recent political events in the national level are hidden efforts of executive department to control all branches of government. The declaration of Martial law in Mindanao and the unceasing rumor of declaration of Martial law in the whole country; the on-going moves and promotion of federalism and charter change; and the failed declaration of “revolutionary government” are manifestations that present administration wants a totalitarian rule. To justify all its efforts, President Duterte wants the Supreme Court to legalize all his actions. But he cannot easily do that unless Sereno is removed from the Supreme Court.
The Chief Justice is an impediment to President Duterte’s plan to make all his efforts legal and constitutional thus she must be removed. So an impeachment complaint was filed by lawyer Larry Gadon against the Chief Justice at the House of Representatives, but Gadon admits that some of his allegations to the sworn complaint were hearsay, thus critics say impeachment complaint is weak. Sensing the difficulty of victory in the Senate, Solicitor General Calida filed a writ of quo warranto before the Supreme Court, which many legal luminaries considered illegal. This effort could be seen as Malacañang’s effort to maximize the internal squabble among the justice.
Quo warranto is a special form of legal action used to resolve a dispute over whether a specific person has the legal right to hold the public office that s/he occupies. It is used to test a person’s legal right to hold an office, not to evaluate the person’s performance in the office. Critics say it is illegal since heads of Constitutional Offices such as Supreme Court can only be removed by impeachment process. No less than the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) agree to this. Besides, many legal luminaries articulated that the one-year prescriptive period for filing complaint has lapsed already. It is thus clear that the purpose of the quo warranto is to remove the Chief Justice, which can only be done through impeachment. Hence, the quo warranto filed by Malacañang is simply an illegal means to remove the Chief Justice in order to control the Supreme Court.
NASSA/Caritas Philippines strongly denounces this evil maneuvering of the legal process and the rule of law to satisfy the personal interest of the President. Duterte was elected and sworn to protect the Constitution and observe the rule of law but he violates this task. He is riding on his popularity and the support of the legislators to subvert the democratic process to achieve his personal agenda. He destroys the fabric of democracy in the country. He is a bane to our political situation.
NASSA/Caritas Philippines calls upon the Members of the Supreme Court to live up to their oath to give every person her/his share of law and justice. We appeal to them not to be pressured or bribed to make disgraceful decision. They must exhibit sense of fairness, impartiality and trustworthiness. They must live up as the last pillar of democracy in the country.
We call on all patriotic Filipinos, who love this beautiful country, to support CJ Sereno’s fight against forces of tyranny and totalitarianism. CJ Sereno’s fight is a symbol of Filipinos’ fight for democracy. Let us all unite and rally behind her to discard the quo warranto, as well as the impeachment complaint. Let us claim the power entrusted to us by ourselves, by the Constitution – sovereign power resides in the people.
We enjoin all patriotic and nation-loving Filipinos to participate in the “Dasal at Ayuno” and mobilization to defend and protect democracy and to support CJ Sereno. We invite you to come and join concerned citizens in our prayers and mobilization to awaken our justices, to discard quo warranto petition from May 9-11 in Padre Faura outside the Supreme Court. Let us be united and be heard for democracy in our country.
CBCP-National Secretariat for Social Action-Justice and Peace