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Makabayan bloc ‘may’ join forces with Magnificent 7 in impeaching 8 SC justices

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The two main opposition blocs in the House of Representatives may join forces in trying to impeach eight Supreme Court magistrates who voted to oust Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

Bayan Muna partylist Rep. Carlos Zarate said in a media briefing that the Makabayan bloc was “studying” the possibility of supporting the move of lawmakers belonging to the Magnificent 7 to file impeachment complaints against the eight for culpable violations of the 1987 Constitution.

Akbayan partylist Rep. Tom Villarin announced earlier Thursday a plan to file impeachment complaints against the eight justices, saying his colleagues in the Magnificent 7 were likely to support it.

Makabayan and Magnificent 7 are the two main opposition groups in the chamber, each with seven members.

The official minority bloc, on the other hand, often supports positions of the supermajority.

“Malinaw naman ang tindig namin nung nakaraan. Nilabanan namin ang impeachment ni Chief Justice Sereno, maging ang usapin sa quo warranto petition… Tingin natin, talagang atake ito sa hudikatura at pag-castrate sa karapatan ng Congress to impeach an impeachable official,” Zarate said.

But Anakpawis partylist Rep. Ariel Casilao said there was little chance that the impeachment cases against the eight SC justices would prosper.

The eight justices who voted to disqualify Sereno’s appointment last May 11 were Associate Justices Teresita De Castro, Francis Jardeleza, Alexander Gesmundo, Diosdado Peralta, Noel Tijam, Samuel Martires, Andres Reyes Jr., and Lucas Bersamin.

The Supreme Court voted 8-6 in granting the quo warranto petition, which sought to disqualify Sereno from her office due to her alleged failure to file her SALNs during her tenure as a University of the Philippines law professor, among others.

“The eight justices made a very unconstitutional violation by usurping the powers of the Congress,” according to Villarin.