HRW member says Sereno ouster an assault to human rights protection
The New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) tagged on Saturday the decision of the Supreme Court (SC) to oust former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno as “unprecedented and nefarious”
The HRW said the removal of Sereno from her SC office was an assault on the democratic rule of the country.
“The Philippine Supreme Court’s unprecedented and nefarious removal of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno constitutes a frontal assault on human rights protections and democratic rule,” HRW Asia Division researcher Carlos Conde said in a statement.
Conde said that Sereno just became the latest victim in the growing list of institutions and individuals vilified by the administration.
He added that the “unprecedented” removal of Sereno opened other possibilities to oust other constitutional members of the government.
“Sereno’s ouster also kicks open the door for wanton removals of members of other constitutional bodies, such as the Commission on Human Rights,” Conde said.
“Ultimately, the rejection of constitutional checks and balances concentrates power in the hands of [President Rodrigo] Duterte and his allies, posing the greatest danger to democracy in the Philippines since the Marcos dictatorship,” Conde added.
The SC removed Sereno on Friday with a vote of 8-6, granting the quo warranto petition filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida. /jpv
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