FACT CHECK: No quo warranto petition against Duterte Cabinet
Claim: The Liberal Party (LP) will be filing a quo warranto petition against the whole Duterte Cabinet.
The blog newsbite.top ran the headline "Breaking: LP Sasampahan Din ng Quo Warranto ang Buong Duterte Cabinet! Panoorin!" in their undated blog post. Its sole content is an embedded Tokhang TV YouTube video of Antonio Contreras, a Manila Times columnist and a professor at De La Salle University.
In the video, he discussed the recent ouster of Maria Lourdes Sereno as Supreme Court Chief Justice on May 11 via a quo warranto petition. He said that the reactions to the ouster should be backed with appropriate knowledge of the law. The original video was taken from one of his Facebook Live discussions.
The blog post was shared by at least 11 different Facebook pages and groups garnering more than 100 shares. The same claim was also published by federalismph.info.
The facts: The source video did not specifically say that the Liberal Party would be filing a quo warranto petition against every Duterte Cabinet member.
Instead, Contreras merely reiterated observations about posts on Sereno's ouster.
At the beginning of the embedded video in the blog post (and at 23:50 in the original Facebook Live video), he said, "'Yung iba naman nagwala na, sampahan na daw ng quo warranto lahat ng opisyal ng gobyerno. Sabi ko, ano ba yan, di ba? 'O sige gawin natin.' Parang nagmamaktol."
(The others are already losing it. They're arguing that all government officials be subjected to quo warranto petitions as well. I said, what's that? It's like they're sulking.)
Chief Justice Sereno was ousted via an 8-6 decision by the Supreme Court over a quo warranto petition filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida because she did not submit some of her Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN).
A quo warranto petition seeks to nullify an appointment that is alleged to be invalid from the start. In the case of Sereno, the Solicitor General argued that her appointment to the SC was invalid because she failed to comply with the SALN requirements of the post.
University of the Philippines law professor Dan Gatmaytan told Rappler that a Cabinet member cannot be subjected to a quo warranto petition since "they don't have standards to comply with." Cabinet members serve "at the pleasure of the President" and can be fired when they "no longer enjoy [the President's] trust," he added.
However, Gatmaytan said, "If there is an argument that the appointee's appointment is flawed, there might be a case for quo warranto."
The Commission on Appointments in Congress also confirms or rejects the President's Cabinet nominees, as a check on his executive powers. – Miguel Imperial/Rappler.com