CHR decries SC's decision stealing from Senate sole power to remove impeachable officers
"Statement of the Commission on Human Rights on the Supreme Court decision to oust Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno"
COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS OF THE PHILIPPINES: Press Statement | 15 May 2018
The core value of our Constitution lies in its system of checks and balances. Upholding the 1987 Constitution means protecting the Filipino against abuse and concentration of power. We are in disbelief that majority of the members of the Supreme Court has decided to remove Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno by granting the quo warranto petition, a means unsanctioned by the Constitution. Our Constitution is clear: a sitting Chief Justice can only be removed through impeachment. And a quo warranto petition cannot supplant this.
We denounce the fact that this decision by the Supreme Court's majority was made with justices who previously sat as accusers, a fundamental fairness issue that is expected most from the members of the highest court of our land. We decry that Congress was dispossessed of its exclusive power to decide whether an impeachable officer should be removed.
This decision has diminished our democracy. It erodes our obedience to the rule of law and departs from the will of the Filipino people.