Press Release
May 11, 2018

Hontiveros on Sereno's removal via Quo Warranto:

"A black dawn has broken over the Supreme Court."

This was the statement issued today by Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros after the high tribunal granted the quo warranto petition brought against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, making her the first constitutional officer to be removed not by impeachment but through a simple voting of her peers.

"The Supreme Court has fallen"

"This is a black day for justice and the rule of law. The Supreme Court has fallen, and fallen hard in the eyes of the public. By giving its nod to an obviously unconstitutional petition, the high tribunal has surrendered its judicial independence and integrity to the whims of President Duterte, and subverted altogether our constitutional process of impeachment," Hontiveros said.

"A stab to the heart of Constitution"

"The Justices' failure to rise above their personal issues has paved the way for the rise of a black dawn in the judiciary. The Supreme Court has opened the floodgates for the removal in the future of other impeachable public officials through arbitrary means and for whimsical reasons. It is a direct stab to the heart of our Constitution," Hontiveros added.

"Slap in the Senate's face"

The opposition Senator also described the SC ruling as "a slap in the face of the Senate."

"The Constitution is clear. The best way to hold accountable and remove impeachable high-ranking government officials is through the process of impeachment in which the Senate is convened as an impeachment court. With this decision, the Senate is robbed of that power and denied the obligation to fulfill its constitutional duty. There is a clear attempt to relegate the Senate to the political sidelines," Hontiveros stressed.

"Guardrails of democracy"

Hontiveros urged the public to continue the fight "to defend the integrity of the country's democratic institutions."

"One by one the 'guardrails of democracy' are being taken away and our democratic institutions are falling into the hands of an undemocratic and overreaching President, crippling our system of checks and balances and undermining democracy and the rule of law," Hontiveros said.

"The people must push back. As they say, 'once more unto the breach.' Only by ensuring the integrity and independence of our democratic institutions and strengthening our assaulted culture of democracy can we guard the people's liberty and preserve our democracy from tyrannical attempts to consolidate power for narrow ends," Hontiveros concluded.

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