House to heed Duterte's call to fast-track Sereno impeachment

HOUSE Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said the House of Representatives will approve the committee report and the accompanying articles of impeachment against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno within the first two weeks of the Congress' session, which will resume on May 15.

“Our intention was to approve these before we took a break but we didn’t have enough time to do it. I’m sure that after the resumption of session we can approve these in plenary within one or two weeks,” said Alvarez in a television interview on Wednesday, April 11.

Alvarez said the move of the House of Representatives will not be affected by the quo warranto proceedings against the Chief Justice at the Supreme Court.

He reiterated that quo warranto is a separate legal course of action which questions the validity of one's appointment to the office.

Alvarez said, however, that the House of Representatives will terminate the impeachment proceedings if the Court rules to annul the appointment of Sereno.

“Who are we going to impeach if she turns out to be a fake Chief Justice or a fake Justice? If she is not really the Chief Justice or a Justice, then we have nobody to impeach,” Alvarez said.

The vote of at least one-third of all members of the House of Representatives is needed to uphold the articles of impeachment against Sereno and elevate the impeachment case to the Senate for trial.

Alvarez earlier said he would heed the call of President Rodrigo Duterte to fast-track Sereno’s impeachment.

Last Monday, April 9, after he declared that he is Sereno's enemy, Duterte said he would ask the Congress to act swiftly on the impeachment case against Sereno.

The call of the President was prompted by the statement of Sereno that the former might have ordered the Solicitor General to file the quo warranto case against her.

“It will be done once we resume sessions,” Alvarez then told the media in response to the President's call.

The Supreme Court held oral arguments on the quo warranto case filed against Sereno last Tuesday. (SunStar Philippines)
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