Law schools urge lawmakers to ensure impeachment conducted in ‘most judicious, fair, effective’ way

September 14, 2017 - 6:28 PM
Under fire: CJ Maria Lourdes Sereno and Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista. INTERAKSYON COMBO IMAGE

MANILA, Philippines – The country’s association of law schools on Thursday exhorted lawmakers who will play key roles in the impeachment process of the Chief Justice and the Commission on Elections chair to ensure the process is conducted “in the most judicious, fair and effective manner guided by the rule of law.”

In a statement to media, the Philippine Association of Law Schools Board of Trustees said, “We can only hope and pray at this stage that our legislators will assume their functions motivated by what is just and reasonable under the circumstances of each case. The nation awaits a display of political wisdom befitting the representative of the Filipino people.”

The PALS issued the statement in expectation of the possibility that in the next few weeks, the nation will be gearing up “for the impeachment of constitutional officers, namely, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, Maria Lourdes P. A. Sereno, and the Chairman of the Commission on Elections, Andres D. Bautista.”

PALS added: “The impeachment process, as we have witnessed in the recent past, had been characteristically political in character but subject to constitutional and legal parameters aimed at striking a constructive balance in the pursuit of truth and justice among constitutionally accountable public servants.”

Saying “an informed public is crucial in gauging the acceptability of any resolution of the constitutionally mandated bodies in regard to the impeachment processes,” PALS vowed to carry out its “solemn duty to provide guidance to our constituents and the general public as they witness this unfolding constitutional exercise.”

The House Justice committee voted on Wednesday to consider sufficient in form and substance one of two impeachment complaints filed against Sereno, for culpable violation of the Constitution.

Bautista, on the other hand, had come under fire since his estranged wife Paz revealed he kept hidden assets in the billions, which could not be explained by his salary as Comelec chief.