ANOTHER INSTITUTION has added its voice to calls urging due process in efforts to remove Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P.A. Sereno.

Apart from her much anticipated impeachment by the House of Representatives, Ms. Sereno also faces a quo warranto petition by the government’s lawyer urging the Supreme Court (SC) to void her appointment for allegedly failing to submit complete requirements for her post.

The Center of Excellence in Governance (CEG) in a statement said it “expresses its great concern in the current efforts to compel Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P.A. Sereno to immediately resign.”

CEG said Ms. Sereno’s forced resignation “would effectively deprive her of the legal process mandated by our Constitution for resolving complaints filed against her.”

“Such a process serves to protect not only the rights of the Chief Justice, but more importantly — the legitimacy and effectiveness of our institutions of public governance,” it added.

CEG called on “legislators in both houses of Congress…to be circumspect in the exercise of their respective roles in the impeachment process.”

“We enjoin them to utilize impeachment proceedings as an opportunity to strengthen, rather than weaken, our democratic institutions,” the statement also said.

The statement identified as signatories CEG Acting Chair Rex C. Drilon II, and Francisco F. del Rosario, Jr. and Francis G. Estrada, the respective chairpersons of the Institute for Solidarity in Asia and Institute of Corporate Directors, also of the CEG.

A number of groups, including the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and party-list coalition Makabayang Koalisyon ng Mamamayan (Makabayan), have also expressed their concern regarding efforts to oust Ms. Sereno through means other than impeachment.

Both groups have submitted their interventions arguing that impeachable officials such as Ms. Sereno can only be removed through that process. — Dane Angelo M. Enerio