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Re: Opinions by SC on the Sereno quo warranto case, full text/s
« Reply #40 on: June 09, 2018, 02:15:06 AM »

Decision                             39                             G.R. No. 237428

In Philippine Commercial International Bank v. Sps. Dy Hong Pi, et al.,(100) this Court explained that:

    [T]he second paragraph of Rule 137, Section 1,(101) does not give judges unfettered discretion to decide whether to desist from hearing a case. The inhibition must be for just and valid causes, and in this regard, We have noted that the mere imputation of bias or partiality is not enough ground for inhibition, especially when the charge is without basis. This Court has to be shown acts or conduct clearly indicative of arbitrariness or prejudice before it can brand them with the stigma of bias or partiality. Moreover, extrinsic evidence is required to establish bias, bad faith, malice or corrupt purpose, in addition to palpable error which may be inferred from the decision or order itself. The only exception to the rule is when the error is so gross and patent as to produce an ineluctable inference of bad faith or malice.(102) (Citations omitted)

In this case, it does not appear that there are grounds for compulsory inhibition. As to voluntary inhibition, the mere fact that some of the Associate Justices participated in the hearings of the Committee on Justice determining probable cause for the impeachment of respondent does not make them disqualified to hear the instant petition. Their appearance thereat was in deference to the House of Representatives whose constitutional duty to investigate the impeachment complaint filed against respondent could not be doubted. Their appearance was with the prior consent of the Supreme Court En Banc and they faithfully observed the parameters that the Court set for the purpose. Their statements in the hearing, should be carefully viewed within this context, and should not be hastily interpreted as an adverse attack against respondent.

In fact, Justice Tijam, in his Sworn Statement(103) submitted to the House Committee on Justice, clearly identified the purpose of his attendance thereat:

    2. In reply, I sent a letter to Representative Umali on November 24, 2017, informing him that inasmuch as the issue involved actions of the Supreme Court En Banc, I deemed it proper to first secure its approval before participating in the House Committee hearing.

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100 606 Phil. 615 (2009).
101 Section I. Disqualification of judges. - No judge or judicial officer shall sit in any case in which he, or his wife or child, is pecuniarily interested as heir, legatee, creditor or otherwise, or in which he is related to either party within the sixth degree of consanguinity or affinity, or to counsel within the fourth degree, computed according to the rules of the civil law, or in which he has been executor, administrator, guardian, trustee or counsel, or in which he has presided in any inferior court when his ruling or decision is the subject of review, without the written consent of all parties in interest, signed by them and entered upon the record. A judge may, in the exercise of his sound discretion, disqualify himself from sitting in a case, for just or valid reasons other than those mentioned above.
102 Supra at 638-639.
103 Dated December 6, 2017.
Republic Act 8485 (Animal Welfare Act of 1998, Philippines), as amended and strengthened by House  Bill 6893 of 2013--- violation means a maximum of P250,000 fine with a corresponding three-year jail term and a minimum of P30,000 fine and six months imprisonment

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Re: Opinions by SC on the Sereno quo warranto case, full text/s
« Reply #41 on: June 09, 2018, 03:27:31 AM »

Decision                             40                             G.R. No. 237428

    3. On November 28, 2017, the Supreme Court En Banc gave clearance for Justices who have been invited by the House Committee on Justice to testify in connection with the impeachment complaint, to give testimony on administrative matters if they so wish. The Court's Resolution in this regard states that the authority was granted "only because the proceedings before the Committee on Justice of the House of Representatives constitute part of the impeachment process under Section 3, Article XI of the 1987 Constitution."

A copy of the Court's Resolution is hereto attached as Annex "A."

    4. I am submitting this Sworn Statement to the House Committee on Justice as my testimony in relation to A.M. No. 17-06-02- SC, based on my best recollection of events relating to said matter and available records. I shall, however, be willing to give further testimony should the House Committee find it appropriate to propound questions thereon at the December 11, 2017 Committee hearing, subject to applicable limitations under law and relevant rules.

    5. I will appear and give testimony before the House Committee on Justice not as a witness for the complainant, but to honor the Committee's invitation to shed light on A.M. No. 17-06-02- SC and to accord due respect to the Constitutionally established process of impeachment. (Emphasis ours)


Likewise, the Justices, including Justice Tijam, who appeared during the House Committee on Justice hearings, refused to form any conclusion or to answer the uniform query as to whether respondent's acts constitute impeachable offenses, as it was not theirs to decide but a function properly belonging to the Senate, sitting as an impeachment court.(104) Evidently, no bias and prejudice on the part of the Justices could be inferred therein.

A judge may decide, "in the exercise of his sound discretion," to recuse himself from a case for just or valid reasons. The phrase just or valid reasons, as the second requisite for voluntary inhibition, must be taken to mean---

    x x x causes which, though not strictly falling within those enumerated in the first paragraph, are akin or analogous thereto. In determining what causes are just, judges must keep in mind that next to importance to the duty of rendering a righteous judgment is that of doing it in such a manner as will beget no suspicion of the fairness and integrity of the judge. For it is an accepted axiom that every litigant, including the state, in criminal cases, is entitled to nothing less than the cold neutrality of an impartial judge, and the law intends that no judge shall preside in any case in which he is not wholly free, disinterested, impartial, and independent.(105)

-------
104 See TSN of the House Committee on Justice dated December 11, 2017, p. Xl-2;XVII-l.
105 30 Am. Jr. 767.

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Re: Opinions by SC on the Sereno quo warranto case, full text/s
« Reply #42 on: June 09, 2018, 03:38:51 AM »

Decision                             41                             G.R. No. 237428

Respondent's call for inhibition has been based on speculations, or on distortions of the language, context and meaning of the answers the Justices may have given as sworn witnesses in the proceedings of the House Committee on Justice.

Justice Bersamin's statement that "Ang Supreme Court ay hindi po maaring mag function kung isa ay diktador," is clearly a hypothetical statement, an observation on what would the Court be if any of its Members were to act dictatorially.

Likewise, the Court cannot ascribe bias in Justice Bersamin's remark that he was offended by respondent's attitude in ignoring the collegiality of the Supreme Court when she withdrew the Justices' "privilege" to recommend nominees to fill vacancies in the Supreme Court. It would be presumptuous to equate this statement to a personal resentment as respondent regards it. There has always been a high degree of professionalism among the Members of the Court in both their personal and official dealings with each other. It cannot also be denied that the statement reflected a natural sentiment towards a decision reached and imposed by a member of a collegial body without consultation or consensus.

Meanwhile, respondent's allegation of actual bias and partiality against Justice Peralta is negated by his testimony during the January 15, 2018 hearing of the House Committee on Justice, where he stated that he has been very supportive of the Judiciary reforms introduced by respondent as the Chief Justice, even if she suspects that he is one of those behind her impeachment.

Justice Peralta's testimony before the House Committee on Justice also contradicts respondent's allegation that Justice Peralta's apparent bias arose from his belief that respondent caused the exclusion of his wife, Court of Appeals (CA) Associate Justice Fernanda Lampas Peralta, from the list of applications for the position of CA Presiding Justice. Justice Peralta has made it clear during the February 12, 2018 Congressional hearing that he has already moved on from said issue and that the purpose of his testimony was merely to protect prospective applicants to the Judiciary.

Justice Peralta's testimony during the Congressional hearing that "had (he) been informed of (the) letter dated July 23, 2012 and a certificate of clearance, (he) could have immediately objected to the selection of the Chief Justice for voting because this is a very clear deviation from existing rules that if a member of the Judiciary would like ... or. .. a candidate would like to apply for Chief Justice, then she or he is mandated to submit the SALNs," is clearly a' hypothetical statement, which will not necessarily result in the disqualification of respondent from nomination. It was also expressed in line with his functions as then Acting Chairperson of the JBC, tasked with

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Re: Opinions by SC on the Sereno quo warranto case, full text/s
« Reply #43 on: June 09, 2018, 03:47:28 AM »

Decision                             42                             G.R. No. 237428

determining the constitutional and statutory eligibility of applicants for the position of Chief Justice. It bears stressing, too, that at the time said statement was made, the petition for quo warranto has not been filed; thus, such statement cannot amount to a prejudgment of the case.

Furthermore, according to Justice Peralta, while he was then the Acting Ex Officio Chairperson of the JBC at the time of respondent's application for the position of Chief Justice, he had no personal knowledge of the disputed facts concerning the proceedings, specifically the matters considered by the members of the JBC in preparing the shortlist of nominees. He explained that it was the ORSN of the JBC which was tasked to determine completeness of the applicants' documentary requirements, including the SALNs.

As for Justice Martires' statements during the Oral Arguments, this Court does not view them as indication of actual bias or prejudice against respondent. Our review of the record reveals that Justice Martires' did not refer to respondent as the object of his statements, as follows:

JUSTICE MARTIRES: Solicitor Calida, would you agree with me na lahat ng taong may dibdib ay may kaba sa dibdib? At lahat ng taong may ulo ay may katok sa ulo.

SOLICITOR GENERAL CALIDA: Yes, Your Honor, I agree.

JUSTICE MARTIRES: Now would you consider it a mental illness (sic) when a person always invokes God as the source of his strength? The source of his inspiration? The source of happiness? The source of everything in life? Is that a mental illness.

SOLICITOR GENERAL CALIDA: Not necessarily, Your Honor.

JUSTICE MARTIRES: So, I'm just making a follow-up to the question that Justice Velasco earlier asked. So, would you agree with me that the psychiatrist made a wrong evaluation with respect to the psychiatric report of the Chief Justice?
(106)

Neither are we prepared to conclude that Justice Martires' statements were based on an extraneous source, other than what what he has learned or encountered over the course of the instant proceedings. There is nothing in the interpellation, nor in Justice Martires' statements that he has read the psychiatric report, nor has read newspaper accounts tackling the same. He merely asked the OSG if he has read the same, and his opinion regarding it.

-------
106 Transcript of Stenographic Notes dated April 10, 2018, pp. 234-235.

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Re: Opinions by SC on the Sereno quo warranto case, full text/s
« Reply #44 on: June 09, 2018, 04:57:16 AM »

Decision                             43                             G.R. No. 237428

Contrary to respondent's contentions, Justice Martires has not suggested that she suffers from some mental or psychological illness. At most, his questions and statements were merely hypothetical in nature, which do not even constitute as an opinion against respondent. Certainly, to impute actual bias based on such a brief discourse with respect to hypothetical matters is conjectural and highly speculative. "Allegations and perceptions of bias from the mere tenor and language of a judge is insufficient to show prejudgment."(107)

In the same vein, insinuations that the Justices of the Supreme Court are toeing the line of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in entertaining the quo warranto petition must be struck for being unfounded and for sowing seeds of mistrust and discordance between the Court and the public. The Members of the Court are beholden to no one, except to the sovereign Filipino people who ordained and promulgated the Constitution. It is thus inappropriate to misrepresent that the Solicitor General who has supposedly met consistent litigation success before the Supreme Court shall likewise automatically and positively be received in the present quo warranto action. That the Court spares the Solicitor General the rod is easily dispelled by the Court's firm orders in G.R. Nos. 234359 and 234484 concerning alleged extra legal killings - a case directly concerning the actuations of the executive department - to provide the Court with documents relative to the Oplan Tokhang operations and by a unanimous vote, rebuked the Solicitor General's plea for reconsideration. Suffice to say that the Court decides based on the merits of a case and not on the actors or the supposed benefactors involved.

Absent strong and compelling evidence establishing actual bias and partiality on the part of the Justices whose recusal was sought, respondent's motions for inhibition must perforce fail. Mere conjectures and speculations cannot justify the inhibition of a Judge or Justice from a judicial matter. The presumption that the judge will undertake his noble role of dispensing justice in accordance with law and evidence, and without fear or favor,. should not be abandoned without clear and convincing evidence to the contrary.

In Dimo Realty & Development, Inc. v. Dimaculangan,(108) we held:

    "(B)ias and prejudice, to be considered valid reasons for the voluntary inhibition of judges, must be proved with clear and convincing evidence. Bare allegations of partiality and prejudgment will not suffice. These cannot be presumed, especially if weighed against the sacred obligation of judges whose oaths of office require them to administer justice without

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107 Gochan v. Gochan, 446 Phil. 433, 439 (2003);
     People v. Court of Appeals, 369 Phil. 150, 158 (1999).
108 469 Phil. 373 (2004).

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Re: Opinions by SC on the Sereno quo warranto case, full text/s
« Reply #45 on: June 09, 2018, 05:15:45 AM »

Decision                             44                             G.R. No. 237428

respect to person and to do equal right to the poor and the rich."(109) (Citation omitted)

The Court has pointedly observed in Pimentel v. Hon. Salanga:(110)

    Efforts to attain fair, just and impartial trial and decision, have a natural and alluring appeal. But, we are not licensed to indulge in unjustified assumptions, or make a speculative approach to this ideal. It ill behooves this Court to tar and feather a judge as biased or prejudiced, simply because counsel for a party litigant happens to complain against him. As applied here, respondent judge has not as yet crossed the line that divides partiality and impartiality. He has not thus far stepped to one side of the fulcrum. No act or conduct of his would show arbitrariness or prejudice. Therefore, we are not to assume what respondent judge, not otherwise legally disqualified, will do in a case before him. We have had occasion to rule in a criminal case that a charge made before trial that a party "will not be given a fair, impartial and just hearing" is "premature." Prejudice is not to be presumed. Especially if weighed against a judge's legal obligation under his oath to administer justice "without respect to person and do equal right to the poor and the rich." To disqualify or not to disqualify himself then, as far as respondent judge is concerned, is a matter of conscience.(111) (Citations omitted and emphasis ours)

The Court has consequently counseled that no Judge or Justice who is not legally disqualified should evade the duty and responsibility to sit in the adjudication of any controversy without committing a dereliction of duty for which he or she may be held accountable. Towards that end, the Court has aptly reminded:

    To take or not to take cognizance of a case, does not depend upon the discretion of a judge not legally disqualified to sit in a given case. It is his duty not to sit in its trial and decision if legally disqualified; but if the judge is not disqualified, it is a matter of official duty for him to proceed with the trial and decision of the case. He cannot shirk the responsibility without the risk of being called upon to account for his dereliction.(112)

It is timely to be reminded, too, that the Supreme Court is a collegial judicial body whose every Member has solemnly and individually sworn to dispense and administer justice to every litigant. As a collegial body, the Supreme Court adjudicates without fear or favor. The only things that the Supreme Court collectively focuses its attention to in every case are the merits thereof, and the arguments of the parties on the issues submitted for consideration and deliberation. Only thereby may the solemn individual oath of the Members to do justice be obeyed.

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109 Id. at 384-385.
110 128 Phil. 176 (1967).
111 Id. at 182-183.
112 People v. Moreno, 83 Phil. 286, 294 ( 1949); Perfecto v.
    Contreras, 28 Phil. 538 (1914); .Joaquin v. Barretto, 25
    Phil. 281, 287 (1913).

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Re: Opinions by SC on the Sereno quo warranto case, full text/s
« Reply #46 on: June 09, 2018, 05:27:45 AM »

Decision                             45                             G.R. No. 237428

 In line with the foregoing, We deem it baseless, not to mention problematic, the respondent's prayer that the matter of inhibition of the six Associate Justices be decided by the remaining members of the Court En Banc. The respondent herself was cognizant that the prevailing rule allows challenged Justices to participate in the deliberations on the matter of their disqualification. Moreover, exclusion from the deliberations due to delicadeza or sense of decency, partakes of a ground apt for a voluntary inhibition. It bears to be reminded that voluntary inhibition, leaves to the sound discretion of the judges concerned whether to sit in a case for other just and valid reasons, with only their conscience as guide.(113) Indeed, the best person to determine the propriety of sitting in a case rests with the magistrate sought to be disqualified. Moreover, to compel the remaining members to decide on the challenged member's fitness to resolve the case is to give them authority to review the propriety of acts of their colleagues, a scenario which can undermine the independence of each of the members of the High Court.

In the En Banc case of Jurado & Co. v. Hongkong Bank,(114) the Court elucidated that a challenge to the competency of a judge may admit two constructions: first, the magistrate decides for himself the question of his competency and when he does so, his decision therein is conclusive and the other Members of the Court have no voice in it; and second, the challenged magistrate sits with the Court and decides the challenge as a collegial body. It was in Jurado that the Court adopted the second view as the proper approach when a challenge is poised on the competency of a sitting magistrate, that is, the Court, together with the challenged magistrate, decides. Jurado further expressly excluded a possible third construction wherein the Court decides the challenge but without the participation of the challenged member on the ground that such construction would place power on a party to halt the proceedings by the simple expedient of challenging a majority of the Justices. The Court sees no reason to deviate from its standing practice of resolving competency challenges as a collegial body without excluding the challenged Member from participating therein.

Accordingly, the Court resolves to DENY respondent's motion to exclude Associate Justices Peralta, Leonardo-De Castro, Jardeleza, Tijam, Bersamin, and Martires in the resolution of the separate motions for inhibition against the said Associate Justices. Likewise, the Court resolves to DENY the said separate motions for inhibition.

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113 Dr. Raul M. Sunico v. Judge Pedro DI. Gutierrez, A.M. No. RTJ-16-2457, February 21, 2017.
114 I Phil. 395 (1902).

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Re: Opinions by SC on the Sereno quo warranto case, full text/s
« Reply #47 on: June 19, 2018, 04:29:49 PM »

Decision                             46                             G.R. No. 237428

Substantive Issues
 
I.

The Court has Jurisdiction over the instant Petition for Quo Warranto


 The petition challenges respondent's right and title to the position of Chief Justice. The Republic avers that respondent unlawfully holds her office because in failing to regularly declare her assets, liabilities and net worth as a member of the career service prior to her appointment as an Associate Justice, and later as Chief Justice, of the Court, she cannot be said to possess the requirement of proven integrity demanded of every aspiring member of the Judiciary. The Republic thus prays that respondent's appointment as Chief Justice be declared void. Respondent counters that, as an impeachable officer, she may only be removed through impeachment by the Senate sitting as an impeachment court.

Supreme Court has original jurisdiction over an action for quo warranto

Section 5, Article VIII of the Constitution, in part, provides that the Supreme Court shall exercise original jurisdiction over petitions for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, and habeas corpus. This Court, the Court of Appeals and the Regional Trial Courts have concurrent jurisdiction to issue the extraordinary writs, including quo warranto.

Relatedly, Section 7, Rule 66 of the Rules of Court provides that the venue of an action for quo warranto, when commenced by the Solicitor General, is either the Regional Trial Court in the City of Manila, in the Court of Appeals, or in the Supreme Court.

While the hierarchy of courts serves as a general determinant of the appropriate forum for petitions for the extraordinary writs, a direct invocation of the Supreme Court's original jurisdiction to issue such writs is allowed when there are special and important reasons therefor, clearly and specifically set out in the petition.(115) In the instant case, direct resort to the Court is justified considering that the action for quo warranto questions the qualification of no less than a Member of the Court. The issue of whether a person usurps, intrudes into, or unlawfully holds or exercises a public office is a matter of public concern over which the government takes special interest as it obviously cannot allow an intruder or impostor to occupy a public position.(116)

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115 Chamber of Real Estate and Builders Assn., Inc. (CREBA) v. Sec. of Agrarian Reform, 635 Phil. 283, 300 (2010).
116  Republic of the Philippines v. Pablico Corpin, 104 Phil. 49. 53 ( 1958).


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Re: Opinions by SC on the Sereno quo warranto case, full text/s
« Reply #48 on: June 19, 2018, 04:37:13 PM »

Decision                             47                             G.R. No. 237428

The instant petition is a case of transcendental importance

While traditionally, the principle of transcendental importance applies as an exception to the rule requiring locus standi before the Courts can exercise its judicial power of review, the same principle nevertheless, finds application in this case as it is without doubt that the State maintains an interest on the issue of the legality of the Chief Justice's appointment.

Further, it is apparent that the instant petition is one of first impression and of paramount importance to the public in the sense that the qualification, eligibility and appointment of an incumbent Chief Justice, the highest official of the Judiciary, are being scrutinized through an action for quo warranto. The Court's action on the present petition has far-reaching implications, and it is paramount that the Court make definitive pronouncements on the issues herein presented for the guidance of the bench, bar, and the public in future analogous cases. Thus, the questions herein presented merit serious consideration from the Court and should not be trifled on.

Policy and ethical considerations likewise behoove this Court to rule on the issues put forth by the parties. This Court has always been a vigilant advocate in ensuring that its members and employees continuously possess the highest ideals of integrity, honesty, and uprightness. More than professional competence, this Court is cognizant of the reality that the strength of Our institution depends on the confidence reposed on Us by the public. As can be gleaned from Our recent decisions, this Court has not hesitated from disciplining its members whether they be judges, Justices or regular court employees. This case should not therefore be treated merely with kid gloves because it involves the highest official of the judicial branch of the government. On the contrary, this is an opportune time for this Court to exact accountability by examining whether there has been strict compliance with the legal and procedural requirements in the appointment of its Members.

Respondent, however, pounds on the fact that as a member of the Supreme Court, she is an impeachable officer. As such, respondent argues that a quo warranto proceeding, which may result in her ouster, cannot be lodged against her, especially when there is an impending impeachment case against her.

This argument is misplaced.

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Re: Opinions by SC on the Sereno quo warranto case, full text/s
« Reply #49 on: June 19, 2018, 04:46:39 PM »

Decision                             48                             G.R. No. 237428

The origin, nature and purpose of impeachment and quo warranto are materially different


While both impeachment and quo warranto may result in the ouster of the public official, the two proceedings materially differ. At its most basic, impeachment proceedings are political in nature, while an action for quo warranto is judicial or a proceeding traditionally lodged in the courts.

To lend proper context, We briefly recount the origin and nature of impeachment proceedings and a quo warranto petition:

Impeachment


Historians trace the origin of impeachment as far as the 5th century in ancient Greece in a process called eisangelia.(117) The grounds for impeachment include treason, conspiracy against the democracy, betrayal of strategic posts or expeditionary forces and corruption and deception.(118)

Its, modern form, however, appears to be inspired by the British parliamentary system of impeachment. Though both public and private officials can be the subject of the process, the British system of impeachment is largely similar to the current procedure in that it is undertaken in both Houses of the Parliament. The House of Commons determines when an impeachment should be instituted. If the grounds, normally for treason and other high crimes and misdemeanor, are deemed sufficient, the House of Commons prosecutes the individual before the House of Lords.(119)

While impeachment was availed for "high crimes and misdemeanors", it would appear that the phrase was applied to a variety of acts which can arguably amount to a breach of the public's confidence, such as advising the King to grant liberties and privileges to certain persons to the hindrance of the due execution of the laws, procuring offices for persons who were unfit, and unworthy of them and squandering away the public treasure, browbeating witnesses and commenting on their credibility, cursing and drinking to excess, thereby bringing the highest scandal on the public justice of the kingdom, and failure to conduct himself on the most distinguished principles of good faith, equity, moderation, and mildness.(120)

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117 (visited on March I 5, 2018).
118 Id.
119 Jack Simson Caird, Impeachment, BRIEFING PAPER, Number CBP7612, 6 June 2016. Accessed from (visited on March 15, 2018).
120 (visited on March I 5, 2018).

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Re: Opinions by SC on the Sereno quo warranto case, full text/s
« Reply #50 on: June 19, 2018, 05:20:03 PM »

Decision                             49                             G.R. No. 237428

While heavily influenced by the British concept of impeachment, the United States of America made significant modifications from its British counterpart. Fundamentally, the framers of the United States visualized the process as a means to hold accountable its public officials, as can be gleaned from their basic law:

The President, Vice-President, and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors.(121)

Other noted differences from the British process of impeachment include limiting and specifying the grounds to "treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors", and punishing the offender with removal and disqualification to hold public office instead of death, forfeiture of property and corruption of blood.(122)

In the Philippines, the earliest record of impeachment in our laws is from the 1935 Constitution.(123) Compared to the US Constitution, it would appear that the drafters of the 1935 Constitution further modified the process by making impeachment applicable only to the highest officials of the country; providing "culpable violation of the Constitution" as an additional ground, and requiring a two-thirds vote of the House of Representatives to impeach and three-fourths vote of the Senate to convict.

As currently worded, our 1987 Constitution, in addition to those stated in the 1935 basic law, provided another additional ground to impeach high ranking public officials: "betrayal of public trust". Commissioner Rustico De los Reyes of the 1986 Constitutional Commission explained this ground as a "catch-all phrase to include all acts which are not punishable by statutes as penal offenses but, nonetheless, render the officer unfit to continue in office. It includes betrayal of public interest, inexcusable negligence of duty, tyrannical abuse of power, breach of official duty by malfeasance or misfeasance, cronyism, favoritism, etc. to the prejudice of public interest and which tend to bring the office into disrepute."(124)

From the foregoing, it is apparent that although the concept of impeachment has undergone various modifications to suit different jurisdictions and government forms, the consensus seems to be that it is essentially a political process meant to vindicate the violation of the public's trust. Buckner Melton, in his book The First Impeachment: The Constitution's Framers and the Case of Senator William Blount, succintly

-------
121 Section 4, Article II of the US Constitution.
122 See Justice Jose Vitug's Separate Opinion, Francisco, Jr. v. House of Representatives in G.R. No. 160261, 460 Phil. 830 (2003); Puno, Renato V. The Process of Impeachment and its applicability in the Philippine Legal System, Ateneo Law Journal (1982). p. 165.
123 See Justice Jose Vitug's Separate Opinion, Francisco, Jr. v. House of Representatives in G.R. No. 160261, 460 Phil. 830 (2003).
124 Records of Constitutional Commission, Vol. II, p. 272.

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Re: Opinions by SC on the Sereno quo warranto case, full text/s
« Reply #51 on: June 19, 2018, 05:33:14 PM »

Decision                             50                             G.R. No. 237428

opined:

Practically all who have written on the subject agree that impeachment involves a protection of a public interest, incorporating a public law element, much like a criminal proceeding .... mpeachment is a process instigated by the government, or some branch thereof, against a person who has somehow harmed the government or the community. The process, moreover, is adversarial in nature and resembles, to that extent, a judicial trial.(125)

Quo warranto

The oft-cited origin of quo warranto was the reign of King Edward I of England who questioned the local barons and lords who held lands or title under questionable authority. After his return from his crusade in Palestine, he discovered that England had fallen because of ineffective central administration by his predecessor, King Henry III.(126) The inevitable result was that the barons, whose relations with the King were governed on paper by Magna Carta, assumed to themselves whatever power the King's officers had neglected. Thus, King Edward I deemed it wise to inquire as to what right the barons exercised any power that deviated in the slightest from a normal type of feudalism that the King had in mind. The theory is that certain rights are regalia and can be exercised only upon showing of actual grants from the King or his predecessor. Verily, King Edward's purpose was to catalogue the rights, properties and possessions of the kingdom in his efforts to restore the same.

In the Philippines, the remedies against usurpers of public office appeared in the 1900s, through Act No. 190.(127) Section 197 of the Act provides for a provision comparable to Section 1, Rule 66 of the Rules of Court:

Sec. 197. Usurpation of an Office or Franchise - A civil action may be brought in the name of the Government of the Philippine Islands:

1. Against a person who usurps, intrudes into, or unlawfully holds or exercises a public civil office or a franchise within the Philippine Islands, or an office in a corporation created by the authority of the Government of the Philippine Islands;
2. Against a public civil officer who does or suffers an act which, by the provisions of law, works a forfeiture of his office;
3. Against an association of persons who act as a corporation within the Philippine Islands, without being legally incorporated or without lawful authority so to act.


-------
125 (visited on March 15, 2018).
126 Nathan Isaacs, The Statutes of Edward I. Their Relation to Finance and Administration, Michigan Law Review, Vol. 19, No. 8 (.Jun., 1921 ), pp. 804-818.
127 See Agcaoili v. Suguitan, supra note 87.

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