Sereno: Quo warranto petition renders Senate 'inutile'

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 21) — The Senate was rendered useless when it was robbed of an impeachment trial, former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno said on Monday.

"Ang Senado-pasensya na ang salita-parang ginawang inutil po sila," Sereno told CNN Philippines' The Source.

[Translation: Sorry for the word, but the Senate was rendered inutile.]

She also threw her support behind a Senate resolution questioning her ouster. Fourteen senators, including outgoing Senate President Koko Pimentel, believed the quo warranto petition should not have been granted and that Sereno should be given her day in the impeachment court.

Speaking to The Source, Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo dismissed the Senate petition as premature.

House Justice Committee Chair Rey Umali agreed, and slammed the decision as "self-serving."

"They do not even have jurisdiction over the case because it is still with the House of Representatives," said Umali. "It can only express the sentiment of the Senators, but that is about it."

Following Sereno's ouster on May 11, the Lower House said it would be more prudent to wait for the Supreme Court's final ruling on the quo warranto petition before proceeding with the pending impeachment complaint against her.

On the question of jurisdiction, Sereno said the Senate was merely asserting its constitutional right, and the petition should be given due attention.

"May malaking moral authority iyan... Kailangan pakinggan iyan," she said.

[Translation: That (request) has large moral authority... It has to be listened to.]

The former Chief Justice is expected to file a motion for reconsideration before the Supreme Court on or before May 30.