MANILA House Majority Leader Rodolfo Farinas on Tuesday said the House of Representatives may have to wait for the Supreme Court's decision on the quo warranto petition filed against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno before the plenary voting on her impeachment.
In an ambush interview, FariAas said if there is a "serious challenge" on Sereno's appointment to the top judiciary post, then the House should wait for the high tribunal's ruling.
"This is my view as chairman of the Committee on Rules, pag nakikita ko na may (if I find that there is a) serious challenge on the legitimacy of the officer in question, hintayin ko muna yun (I would wait for the ruling)," FariAas said.
"This will be of utmost importance for the Supreme Court, that will be resolved in a month's time, hindi naman magtatagal iyan (I don't think that's too long)," he added.
FariAas said the soonest possible time the House plenary could put the impeachment complaint against Sereno to a vote is by May 14, considering that there are only seven session days left before Congress adjourns for a Lenten break.
"So May 14, that's the soonest that we can take it up in plenary," he said.
"Even in the natural progression of time, mao-overtake-an kami ng Supreme Court (the Supreme Court will overtake us). So by May 14, tapos na Supreme Court diyan (the Supreme Court would have been finished with the quo warranto case by then). They will have the whole month of April and half-month of March," he added.
The House of Representatives justice committee is set to vote Thursday if there is probable cause in the impeachment complaint lodged against Sereno.
Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, committee chairman, said the panel would also vote on the committee report along with the articles of impeachment next week.
Umali is eyeing to submit by March 21 the committee report to the House committee on rules for scheduling its consideration.
The House justice panel has wrapped up its impeachment deliberations last week.
Source: Philippine News Agency