Header AD

SC Chief Justice Sereno Warns Her Impeachment Could Threaten Philippine Democracy

Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno warned on Monday, November 20, that an attempt by allies of President Rodrigo Duterte to impeach her could threaten the judiciary and the country’s democracy.

Sereno gave the warning in a television interview as members of the House of Representatives prepared to begin impeachment hearings against her this week.

“This is getting to be larger than myself. This is no longer just about me. It is about democracy,” Sereno said in the television interview.

She said the charges against her were fabricated and warned that the judiciary would be under threat if the Duterte government was allowed to pursue her.

“Is the judiciary safe? And if the judiciary is not safe, is democracy safe? Are the constitutional rights of people still assured?” she asked.

Sereno said the impeachment process is supposed to “preserve, not destroy” democratic institutions.

She declined to say whether she believed that House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez had a hand in the impeachment process against her.

However, she pointed out that she had testified against the “onerous terms of the contract” between the government and PairCargo, which was renamed to Philippine International Air Terminals Co. Inc. (PIATCO), contractor of the controversial Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 (NAIA 3).

Alvarez, who was the senior assistant general manager of the Manila International Airport, was part of the committee that approved the terms of reference for the PIATCO contract.

In 2001, a plunder case was filed against Alvarez and other officials by the MIAA-NAIA Association of Service Contractors.

Alvarez was accused of benefiting from the contract.

His wife Emelita owned 33 percent of Wintrack Builders Inc., a subcontractor that did excavation work for PIATCO.

“Speaker Alvarez had a lot to do with the result of that bidding, and one of the cases in fact that was filed against him was precisely for the conflict of interest situation that he finds himself in. A company that his wife owned was the subcontractor for the construction (of NAIA 3),” Sereno said.

Asked if her testifying against Alvarez could be one of the reasons why he was pushing for her impeachment, Sereno replied: “This is a matter that my lawyers are still considering.”

“Whether it should be raised, and at which point it should be raised, I will have to listen to the lawyers whether that will be brought up,” she added.

Sereno has been one of the few voices willing to criticize President Duterte for allegedly disregarding due process and attacking other branches of government as part of his brutal anti-crime campaign.

President Duterte, in turn, vowed last month to impeach Sereno for alleged corruption.

His allies in Congress will begin hearings on the impeachment complaint this week.

President Duterte has also called for the impeachment of Ombudsman Conchita Morales.

Source: SunStar Philippines
SC Chief Justice Sereno Warns Her Impeachment Could Threaten Philippine Democracy SC Chief Justice Sereno Warns Her Impeachment Could Threaten Philippine Democracy Reviewed by Yen on November 21, 2017 Rating: 5

No comments

Post AD