Business group calls for due process on Sereno impeachment case

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Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P. A. Sereno speaks during an interview with BusinessWorld in this photo taken on February 16, 2018. Photo by Santiago J. Arnaiz/ BUSINESSWORLD

Makati Business Club (MBC) on Friday, March 16, urged political and judicial leaders to let the Congress “follow the impeachment process set forth in the Constitution” against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P.A. Sereno.

In a statement, MBC said: “Regardless of the outcome of the process, giving the chief justice the chance to defend herself within our constitutionally-defined process is essential to demonstrate this country’s respect for the rule of law and to assure all Filipinos that we are protected by our laws.”

“It is absolutely essential for businesses that laws and contracts will be upheld for them to invest and create more jobs which is what will ultimately reduce poverty in a sustainable way,” the business group added.

Solicitor-General Jose C. Calida last week filed a quo warranto petition before the Supreme Court to question the validity of Ms. Sereno’s appointment over her alleged failure to submit complete statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth (SALN) as required by the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC).

Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo V. Umali, who chairs the House justice committee, earlier noted that the quo warranto petition has no effect on the impeachment case.

House Majority Floor Leader Rodolfo C. Fariñas also said that the Supreme Court could have already decided on the quo warranto petition even before the lower chamber could vote on the impeachment in the plenary as the Congress will go on a Holy Week break starting March 21.

Opposition lawmakers, meanwhile, noted that stalling of the House panel on the impeachment proceedings is an indication of a weak case.

Last year, MBC already criticized the series of impeachment cases against top government officials, noting that this may have “unfavorable impact” on the government’s socioeconomic agenda. — Minde Nyl R. Dela Cruz