Lagman: Quo warranto petition versus Sereno doomed to fail

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Any quo warranto petition questioning the authority or basis for Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to hold the position of chief magistrate is doomed to fail, Albay first-district Rep. Edcel Lagman said.

“This is so not only because her appointment is valid and legal, but the action for quo warranto has long prescribed,” he added.

According to the Magnificent 7 leader, quo warranto is a writ or action requiring a person to show by what warrant an office or franchise is held, claimed, or exercised.

“Section 11 of Rule 66 of the Rules of Court provides that a petition for quo warranto must be filed within one (1) year after the cause of action arose, which in this case was when the appointment of Sereno was made and/or the time she assumed office as Supreme Court Chief Justice,” he said.

“Sereno was appointed on August 24, 2012 and assumed office the following day or more than five years ago,” he added.

The prescription of the period, according to Lagman, reads: “Nothing contained in this Rule shall be construed to authorize an action against a public officer or employee for his ouster from office unless the same be commenced within one (1) year after the cause of such ouster, or the right of the petitioner to hold such office or position, arose”.

“The plea that the statute of limitations cannot be invoked against the State in a quo warranto action was debunked by the Supreme Court as early as in the case of Agcaoili vs. Suguitan in 1926,” Lagman said.

He said, “The quo warranto ruse is an admission that an impeachment trial will not prosper in the Senate.”