The public has been warned that the impeachment of Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno could be a prelude to dictatorship.
In a forum on the State of Democracy at the Liceo de Cagayan University yesterday, a political analyst said Sereno’s impeachment could lead to the breakdown of checks and balance in government.
“The bases for the impeachment complaint against Sereno are questionable. The complainant himself admitted he has filed the complaint to rid the government yellows,” said BenCy Ellorin, convenor of Pinoy Aksyon for Governance and Environment who spoke in the forum.
The speaker of the house on the other hand has an axe to grind against the chief justice. And he himself has shown bias, when in fact he is presiding over the impeachment process at the house.
Taking advantage of his positions as Manila International Airport Authority Assistant Manager and, later, Department of Transport and Communications Secretary, Alvarez has supported Piatco.
It was Sereno, as one of the OSG hired counsels, who foiled his plans in an arbitral tribunal and caused the Piatco Group to lose the in two arbitration cases.
There are also reports that some members of the high tribunal have connived against Sereno, he said.
It would seem that aside from a dangerous experiment of the Duterte administration to tinker with our democratic institutions and systems, the Marcoses may stand to gain from the impeachment of Sereno.
Gadon, according to Pinoy Aksyon convenor, is a Marcos loyalist who ran for senator under the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan in the 2016 election. It was in an interview during the campaign that Gadon was quoted saying of the Moro people: “…papatayin ko silang lahat, susunugin ko ang bahay nila. Burahin ang lahi nila, kahit masunog ang kaluluwa ko sa impiyerno gagawin ko ‘yan.”
If Sereno is impeached, the independence of the Supreme Court may be lost. “It may then open the gates for Malacanang, Congress and even the Marcoses to run roughshod the high court to get what they want.”
Bongbong Marcos, son of the deposed dictator Ferdinand Marcos has protested the victory of Vice President Leni Robredo in the 2016 elections. The Presidential Electoral Tribunal which is hearing the protest is composed of members of the Supreme Court.
“The danger is that if the current administration is successful in weakening an institution that plays vital role in checks and balances and accountability, other democratic institutions will follow,” Ellorin said.
Already there are ominous signs that other independent bodies like the Ombudsman and Commission on Human Rights are being “placed on the block by Malacanang.”
“What then? Revolutionary government? If that happens, there will be imbalance of power and it would be next to impossible making those in power accountable,” he said.
Liceo de Cagayan University College of Arts and Science Dean Oliver N. Plaza said they have organized the forum so provide venue for the open discussion of pressing socio-political issues.