CHR commissioner ‘in disbelief’ over House show-cause order
Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Commissioner Roberto Cadiz has expressed disbelief that the House justice panel issued a show-cause order against him.
In a copy of his response to the panel which he sent to INQUIRER.net on Tuesday, Cadiz said: “I am in disbelief that the House Committee on Justice would consider citing me in contempt for my comments about the current state of democracy in our country, and specifically, about the ongoing impeachment proceedings against the Chief Justice.”
Cadiz also slammed the House panel’s move as an “attempt by public officials to exact punishment over what they perceived to be a personal slight.”
“At worst, it may be interpreted as yet another attempt to silence criticism in a pattern of closing democratic space,” he said.
Cadiz said he stands by his freedom to express his opinions against the impeachment case hurled at Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
“I stand humbly by my opinion that the impeachment case against the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court are based on the tyranny of numbers and political interests of the supermajority, rationalized by a flimsy invocation of the law,” Cadiz said.
“I stand by my constitutional right to express that opinion and respectfully challenge the Committee on Justice to prove it wrong, rather than engage in a dubious exercise of power to trounce that right,” he added.
During a press conference last November, Cadiz threw shade at the current political situation of the country under President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Justice, human rights, and the rule of law are being mocked by a lawyer aided and abetted by other lawyers,” he said.
He also cited Sereno’s impeachment as one of the attacks against independent institutions mandated to provide checks and balances in the government.
“The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is about to be impeached in the Lower House where now seems to prevail the law of the jungle, or what might be euphemistically referred to as the law of the super-majority. The sword of Damocles hangs over the head of the Ombudsman, as well,” Cadiz said. /je
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