“Our country is crying for justice.”
So said Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, who is facing an impeachment complaint in the House of Representatives over alleged corruption and violation of the Constitution.
In a speech before the 14th Metrobank Foundation Professorial Chair Lecture on Thursday, Sereno maintained that the allegations against her had no “sufficient basis.”
“I have submitted myself to this process according to the rights that are accorded in my position. And I hope that you have taken it in all good faith that that is my intent to defend dignity and independence of the judiciary,” she said in a speech.
“In various fora, I have already tried to encapsulate in very, very brief form why the charges against me, in fact, should bear no sufficient basis,” the chief magistrate added.
In a complaint filed by lawyer Lorenzo “Larry” Gadon, Sereno has been accused of culpable violation of the Constitution, corruption, other high crimes and betrayal of public trust.
The Chief Justice also took the occasion to urge fellow justices and colleagues in the judiciary to defend their independence, dignity and integrity.
“To the men and women of the judiciary: Please continue to focus on your work. Nothing should distract us. There is much to be done for this country. Our country is crying for justice,” Sereno said.
The judiciary, she said, must continue its work “undistracted,” “professionally” and “excellently” as they have been doing in the past.
“Monitor and watch and be on the lookout for the hallmarks of independence, integrity and dignity of the judiciary to be preserved, and continue to pray,” Sereno said as she stressed the importance of preserving the judiciary’s dignity and independence.
“We have in our history and tradition people with exemplary conduct. I have lived my life openly before you. I hope that all of these we will all remember more than anything we must love the institution that we are all serving,” she further said.