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No need to debate SC ruling

/ 05:14 AM May 21, 2018

There is no question the Senate’s supremacy to prosecute and try impeachable officials if found guilty (“Senate sets debate on SC ruling,” 5/18/18). Thus, there is no need to defend the legislature’s omnipotence on this broiling impasse.

There is absolutely no imminent threat at all to usurp this constitutional power by the judiciary which is only vested in the upper chamber.

However, in the dismissal from office of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno through quo warranto, the Senate measure is not only premature but provocative.

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It could trigger a wide-ranging constitutional crisis if succeeding phenomena eventually damage the two institutions and spur unwanted and precarious movements rife for lawless violence, if not rebellion.

Former chief justice Hilario G. Davide Jr. himself has already pronounced that the eight anti-Sereno justices may be impeached.

This fatal move, if not handled properly, could leave President Duterte with no other option but to declare martial law as per Article 7, Section 18 pursuant to the 1987 Constitution.

The President is empowered to declare a 60-day state of martial law in the entire country or any part of it without congressional approval to ensure continuity of governance and the safeguard of individual freedoms. Mr. Duterte may also suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus if the situation warrants it.

Thus, senators Tito Sotto, Ping Lacson and Gregorio Honasan are absolutely correct not to sign the said Senate resolution.

Methinks that Congress must amend the Constitution that would do away with silent provisions for legal transparency such as the absolute power of the Senate to remove impeachable officials.

NIEL ENRILE NARCA, nnarca@yahoo.com

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TAGS: Inquirer letters, Maria Lourdes Sereno, Niel Enrile Narca, quo warranto petition, Sereno impeachment, Supreme Court
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