The Civilist, Atty. Rabuya, writes "online dissent" vs. ouster decision thru quo warranto

Why Impeachment and not Quo Warranto? by Elmer Rabuya (March 13, 2018 on Facebook)
What the Constitution Says:

The Constitution is the supreme law. All laws, substantive and procedural, must bow to it. This principle, I believe, is too clear to need an extensive discussion.

Section 2 of Article XI of the Constitution enumerates the impeachable officers: the President, Vice-President, members of the Supreme Court, members of the Constitutional Commissions and the Ombudsman. The foregoing officers, according to Section 2, “may be removed from office, on impeachment for and conviction of, culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes, or betrayal of public trust.” In the same section, it says: “All other public officers and employees may be removed from office as provided by law, but not by impeachment.”

Under Section 3(7) of Article XI, the judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than removal from office and disqualification to hold any office under the republic of the Philippines. Hence, any attempt to remove any impeachable officer from office, against his will, is impeachment. Under Section 3(6) of the same article, the Senate is vested with “the sole power to try and decide all cases of impeachment.”
The Quo Warranto Case:

Stripped of embellishments, the petition seeks to obtain a declaration from the Supreme Court that the appointment of its Chief Justice is void because “she did not submit complete SALNs that would have determined whether she possessed the integrity required of the members of the judiciary.” [Par. 39 of the Petition]

Basically, the petition is anchored on Section 7(3), Article VIII of the Constitution which simply says: “Section 7(3) A Member of the Judiciary must be a person of proven competence, integrity, probity and independence.”

Under Section 7 of Article VIII of the Constitution, the following are the enumerated qualifications for appointment to the Supreme Court: (1) he must be a natural-born citizen of the Philippines; (2) he must be at least 40 years of age; (3) he must have been for 15 years or more a judge of the lower court or engaged in the practice of law in the Philippines; and (4) he must be a person of proven competence, integrity, probity and independence.

Under Section 8 of Article VIII, the Constitution created the office of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC), which “shall have the principal functions of recommending appointees to the Judiciary” [Sec. 8(5), Article VIII].

Under Section 9 of Article VIII, “the Members of the Supreme Court and judges of lower courts shall be appointed by the President from a list of at least three nominees prepared by the Judicial and Bar Council for every vacancy. Such appointments need no confirmation.”

In the performance of its functions, the JBC has the authority to set the standards/criteria in choosing its nominees for every vacancy in the judiciary, subject only to the minimum qualifications required by the Constitution and law for every position [Villanueva v. JBC, G.R. No. 211833, 07 April 2015]. In the exercise of such power, the JBC required all applicants for Chief Justice (vacated by the conviction of CJ Corona in the impeachment trial) to submit all previous SALNs up to December 31, 2011. The requirement was embodied in an Announcement dated June 5, 2012.

In her application, Sereno submitted SALNs for the years 2009, 2010 and 2011. In her letter to the JBC dated July 23, 2012, Sereno requested that the requirements she submitted be viewed as that from a private sector before her appointment to the Government again in 2010 as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.

Did the JBC act favorably on her request? It did because she was included by the Council in the shortlist submitted to then President Aquino for the position of Chief Justice. xxx


Cum Laude, Bachelor of Laws
Arellano University Foundation (
Book Author, Bar Reviewer