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Rule of law must be respected in impeachment of Sereno, says group

/ 07:22 PM March 19, 2018

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. FILE

The Judicial Reform Initiative (JRI), a private sector umbrella group, on Monday said the rule of law must respected in the impeachment of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, saying the constitutional process should be kept inviolable to preserve the balance of power under the Constitution.

“The impeachment process, which ultimately gives the respondent full opportunity to be heard before the Senate as a trier of facts in its capacity as an impeachment court, is part and parcel of this bedrock of our democracy,” the JRI said in a statement.

JRI was established in 2012 by, among others, the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines, the Institute of Corporate Directors, the Management Association of the Philippines, the Makati Business Club, the American Chamber of Commerce, the European Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Australia-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce, and the Movement for Restoration of Peace & Order.

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The group said that since Congress had already started with the impeachment proceedings, “we believe that this constitutional process should be respected and pursued to its just conclusion.”

“We look to the courts as the last bastion of democracy, and judicial independence is at the heart of our system of government,” the group added. “We join the call of all who stand for the independence of the judiciary. There is wisdom in the framers of our Constitution providing that the members of the Supreme Court be removed through impeachment by Congress.”

The House Committee on Justice has already approved the articles of impeachment against Sereno. It will then be submitted to the plenary to determine if it will be transmitted to the Senate. /atm

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TAGS: Judicial Reform Initiatives, Maria Lourdes Sereno, Sereno impeachment
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