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Go Sereno! LP backs Chief Justice as Congress, executive forms tag team

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The decision of Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno to face the impeachment trial is a “fight the independence” of the judiciary and for the democratic values instilled in the 1987 Constitution.

The Liberal Party (LP) stressed this on Saturday, in a statement, amid Sereno’s rejection of calls from her critics to resign to protect the judiciary’s integrity.

The House of Representatives has already terminated tackling the impeachment complaint against Sereno for alleged failure to file her statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) among other violations of the Constitution.

“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 LP said.

Senate Minority Leader Frank Drilon as well as Senators Kiko Pangilinan, Bam Aquino, and detained Leila de Lima belong to LP. They are part of the Senate minority bloc.

Another LP senator, Ralph Recto, however belongs to the majority group.

“The bedrock of democracy is the rule of law and an independent judiciary branch with unfettered freedom to decide impartially, in accordance with its members’ conscience and facts,” the party said.

“Regrettably, what we are seeing is the slow weakening of judicial independence and dilution of check-and-balance that endangers democracy and ushers in the rule of autocracy,” the LP said.

It added, “What we are seeing is the Executive and the Legislative branches and some members of the Supreme Court ganging up on Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno through the impeachment process and beyond the bounds of such exercise. Is everyone toeing the line of authoritarianism and the stifling of dissent?”

“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.

The only constitutional way to remove the Chief Justice is through the impeachment process. “The magistrates of the high court should know this no less,” the LP said.

“Any machinations to oust her from office outside of impeachment would be in violation of the Constitution that the justices have been sworn to protect and uphold,” it added.

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