Law schools release statement calling for adherence to the constitutional process on Chief Justice's impeachment
We, the alumni and faculty members of the undersigned law schools, express our deep concern at the move to unseat the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court by means other than by impeachment.
We are not questioning the motivation, integrity and patriotism of anyone involved in this process but we must remind them that the integrity of the process is as important as its result.
We have been taught in the law school that the Constitution provides only one means to remove a sitting Chief Justice. That is by impeachment by the House of Representatives and conviction after trial in the Senate. Any other means would be unconstitutional. It will expose those involved to the same vicious cycle of extrajudicial removal process which will subvert the constitutional check and balance and endanger judicial independence.
Let the impeachment of the Chief Justice take its course as the Constitution dictates. Let the trial in the Senate sitting as an impeachment court begin. Respect the rule of law and due process. Respect the Chief Justice's right to defend herself in the impeachment trial.
We ask the Honorable Senators to be conscious of the far reaching implication of their decision in this coming trial. It will become a precedent of how impeachment will be wielded against sitting Justices of the Supreme Court and members of critical Constitutional bodies, and even the President of the Philippines.
May all lawyers involved in this impeachment process be guided by the ringing advice from Justice JBL Reyes:
No Master but Law; No Guide but Conscience; No Aim but Justice.
Concerned Alumni and Faculty.
Source: Atty. Carlo L. Cruz, spokesperson of Chief Justice Sereno
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