Bid to void Sereno appointment proof impeachment trial won’t fly – Lagman

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno bangs the gavel at the start of oral arguments on the consolidated petitions to declare Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's drug war unconstitutional on November 21, 2017. (Reuters)

MANILA, Philippines — A bid to have the Supreme Court nullify the appointment of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno is not only “doomed to fail,” it is also “an admission that an impeachment trial will not prosper in the Senate,” an opposition lawmaker said Saturday.

Explaining why lawyer Oliver Lozano’s action was futile, Albay Representative Edcel Lagman said that, not only was Sereno’s appointment valid, “the action for quo warranto has long prescribed.”

A quo warranto is a writ resorted to against people who usurp or illegally occupy an office.

“Section 11 of Rule 66 of the Rules of Court provides that a petition for quo warranto must be filed within one (1) year after the cause of action arose, which in this case was when the appointment of Sereno was made and/or the time she assumed office as Supreme Court Chief Justice,” Lagman said.

“Sereno was appointed August 24, 2012 and assumed office the following day, or more than five years ago,” he pointed out.

Aside from Lozano, suspended lawyer Eligio Mallari has also asked Solicitor General Jose Calida to initiate quo warranto proceedings against the Chief Justice.