LP backs Sereno’s fight, ‘without judging guilt or innocence’
The Liberal Party (LP) on Saturday said it supported Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno’s fight for the independence of the judiciary as it maintained that the only constitutional means to oust her from the Supreme Court was through a Senate impeachment trial.
“We hope we can allow the Chief Justice to have her day in court when the impeachment trial goes to the Senate,” the LP said in a statement.
“Without judging Chief Justice Sereno’s guilt or innocence, we believe in her firm stance to fight the allegations against her through the impeachment process,” the statement said.
The party, which is headed by Sen. Francis Pangilinan, said Sereno’s fight for the independence of the judiciary was also a fight “for the democratic values instilled in our Constitution.”
In a speech at University of Baguio on Friday after she was forced by 13 Supreme Court justices to take an indefinite leave of absence, Sereno said she would continue her fight for the independence of the judiciary, which was “unduly crowded by other interests.”
She said judicial independence could be “truly realized when we allow the courts to exercise its constitutional mandate free from undue influences, pressure and intimidation.”
“I remain steadfast in fighting for judicial independence. I have faith that in the end, what some unpatriotic men and women had intended for evil, God will turn into good,” she said.
The LP lamented the “slow weakening” of judicial independence and the “dilution” of checks and balances as the executive and legislative branches and some members of the Supreme Court were “ganging up” on Sereno through the impeachment process and “beyond the bounds of exercise.”
“Is everyone toeing the line of authoritarianism and the stifling of dissent?” the statement said.
The 23-member Senate includes four from the LP—Pangilinan, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, Sen. Bam Aquino and Sen. Leila de Lima, who is detained on drug charges.
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