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Prominent business group urges leaders to follow rule of law in Sereno impeachment
The Makati Business Club said that Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno must have her day in the Senate impeachment court, adding that the process provided by the Constitution in removing officials must be obeyed.
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Prominent business group urges leaders to follow rule of law in Sereno impeachment

Ian Nicolas Cigaral (Philstar.com) - March 16, 2018 - 11:21am

MANILA, Philippines — An influential business group on Friday urged the country’s political leaders to let the legislature handle the impeachment proceedings against the country’s chief justice to assure the public and investors that the rule of law is being followed.

In a statement, the Makati Business Club stressed that Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno must have her day in the Senate impeachment court, adding that the process provided by the Constitution in removing officials must be obeyed.

The premier grouping of business leaders and corporate bigwigs in the Philippines made the remarks after the government’s chief legal counsel filed a petition seeking to nullify Sereno’s appointment.

“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,” the MBC said.

“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 group added.

Sereno, the first woman to head the 15-member high court, is being accused of non-compliance with documentary requirements in her statement of assets, liabilities and net worth.

Like other presidential critics, she has become a target of President Rodrigo Duterte’s vitriol, accusing her of being used by his political foes to kick him out of power.

But Duterte has vehemently denied having a hand in any ouster moves against Sereno.

The chief justice has gone on an indefinite leave starting March 1, saying she needs to prepare for the looming impeachment trial at the Senate. The House justice committee found probable cause to impeach her.

Thirteen justices of the SC, however, subsequently issued a statement saying they asked Sereno to take a leave from her office.

Early this week, court employees and a group of judges urged Sereno to quit her post, a call she strongly rejected as she decried what she called “shortcuts” being taken by her accusers to unseat her.

CHIEF JUSTICE MARIA LOURDES SERENO IMPEACHMENT PROCESS IMPEACHMENT TRIAL QUO WARRANTO PETITION
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