Press Release
May 16, 2018

Hontiveros to colleagues:

Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros on Wednesday urged her fellow Senators to cross partylines and defend the integrity of the Senate after the Supreme Court, in an unprecedented move, granted the quo warranto petition brought against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

Hontiveros said that her colleagues must take "decisive action" against the ruling, which she said "robbed the Senate of the jurisdiction to remove an impeachable officer through an impeachment trial."

"The Senate has the duty and responsibility to formally communicate with the Supreme Court and ask it to review its decision and restore balance among the different co-equal branches of the government," Hontiveros said.

"I appeal to my fellow Senators to cross partylines and unite in defending the integrity of the Senate. We cannot issue strong statements on this travesty of the inviolability of the Constitution, yet not back it up with decisive action. We must not allow the Senate to be relegated to a hollow institution howling ineffectually at the margins," Hontiveros added.

It was reported that the Senate minority bloc, of which Hontiveros is a member, filed a resolution expressing the sense of the Senate to uphold the Constitution on the matter of removing a Chief Justice from office. The resolution stressed that the high tribunal's decision sets "a dangerous precedent that transgresses the exclusive powers of the Legislative branch to initiate, try and decide all cases of impeachment."

The said resolution was already signed by 13 Senators namely: Hontiveros, Franklin Drilon, Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan, Antonio Trillanes, Leila de Lima, Bam Aquino, Ralph Recto, Francis "Chiz" Escudero, Sherwin Gatchalian, Joel Villanueva, Grace Poe, Sonny Angara and Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel.

"This is not about the Chief Justice and the accusations lodged against her. This is about safeguarding the integrity of our democratic institutions, diffusing the tension among the different branches of government and preventing a constitutional crisis," Hontiveros explained.

"Unfortunately, the SC's decision severely upsets the constitutional balance of governance and weakened our system of checks and balances. Unless reversed, the decision will virtually render obsolete the country's constitutional process of impeachment," Hontiveros said.

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