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STATEMENT OF THE IBP

NO TO IMPEACHMENT DEFEND THE INSTITUTION

 

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines, the official organization of lawyers, expresses its grave concern over the breakneck impeachment of

the Chief Justice based on grounds that subvert the constitutional allocation of powers and prerogatives of the Supreme Court as the final

interpreter of the law and arbiter of judicial disputes as enshrined in the Constitution.

The impeachment has placed on trial not only the Chief Justice but the entire Supreme Court. The grounds invoked to impeach the Chief

Justice refer to collegial decisions of the Supreme Court involving interpretations of law in actual disputes elevated for review, particularly

the following:

a) The invalidation by the Supreme Court of the Executive Order

creating the Truth Commission;

b) The upholding by the Supreme Court of the laws enacted by

Congress and the Senate involving the creation of the province of

Dinagat Island, the conversion of 16 municipalities into cities, and

creation of a new congressional district in Camarines Sur;

c) The issuance by the Supreme Court of a status quo ante order in the

impeachment proceedings against former Ombudsman

Merceditas Gutierrez;

d) The issuance by the Supreme Court of a Temporary Restraining

Order (TRO) against the Watchlist Order preventing the travel

abroad of the former President under a travel authority issued by

Congress for medical reasons.

In all of the cited cases, the record shows that the Chief Justice was not the ponente but merely concurred in the majority or minority opinion.

Neither did the Chief Justice flipflop or change his position in any of these cases. The decisions were reached by the Supreme Court pursuant

to its processes and subjected to reconsideration proceedings. They all involve interpretation of what the law is.

Even the two other grounds cited in the impeachment – failure to submit the SALN and account for the JDF and SAJ collections – also

involve the assertion by the Supreme Court of its fiscal autonomy. Pursuant to a 1992 SC Resolution, the Chief Justice and Associate Justices

are filing their SALN directly with the Clerk of Court ‐‐ and not with any other government unit‐‐ in keeping with its independent status. It has

also exercised its authority over the SAJ and JDF collections in keeping with its fiscal autonomy, which the Commission on Audit has not disallowed.

By impeaching the Chief Justice based on decisions issued by the Supreme Court now claimed to be unconstitutional, the House is in effect

arrogating unto itself the power to interpret the law over and above the Supreme Court. Such an impeachment has transformed the House of

Representatives as the higher interpreter of what the law is, a clear encroachment on the prerogatives exclusively vested by the Constitution

in the Supreme Court itself. If the exercise of judicial review by the Supreme Court to pass upon the acts of other departments of government and to interpret the

applicable laws could warrant congressional impeachment – despite the absence of any allegations of financial or illegal consideration ‐‐ then the

great constitutional doctrines of separation of powers and judicial supremacy on matters of interpretation of the law would completely

crumble and fall apart.

While we support the reform agenda of the President, its implementation must respect – and not subvert ‐‐ the constitutional

allocation of powers. Of the three branches of government, the judiciary is the weakest. It does not have the powerful sword of the President or the

awesome purse of Congress. Its only weapon is the passive power of judicial review.

If that constitutional weapon is despoiled, then its effectiveness as the protective mantle against potential excesses of power by the President and

Congress would be defanged and rendered inutile. If the Supreme Court is emasculated by partisan actions, to whom shall the people turn to against

excesses by those who are in power? The lessons of the past should be learned.

As sentinel of freedom and democracy, the IBP considers the breakneck and high handed impeachment delivered by the House as a

menace and an open subversion of the constitutional prerogatives of the Supreme Court as the final interpreter of the law and the arbiter of rights.

Thus, the IBP, cognizant of its institutional mandates, calls upon the stakeholders and the pillars of the justice system to rally behind and

defend the Supreme Court as an institution of democracy and the Rule of Law.

 

ROAN I. LIBARIOS

National President & Chairman of the Board

 

DENIS B. HABAWEL OLIVIA V. JACOBA DOMINIC C.M. SOLIS

Governor for Northern Luzon Governor for Central Luzon Governor for Greater Manila

 

VICENTE M. JOYAS LEONOR L. GERONA-ROMEO MANUEL L. ENAGE, JR.

Governor for Southern Luzon Governor for Bicolandia Governor for Eastern Visayas

 

ERWIN M. FORTUNATO ISRAELITO P. TORREON FLORENDO B. OPAY

Governor for Western Visayas Governor for Eastern Mindanao Governor for Western Mindanao

 

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ABUSING IMPEACHMENT

AND NOW, CORONA WILL FACE IMPEACHMENT.

is this the tuwid na landas Mr. President refering to during his inaugural speech? Being an ordinary citizen, i am quite disappointed to the congress, lawyers, and media. Why? first, congress  being the legislative branch of the governement should obey the laws and not to abuse it nor act because of an influence coming from the President (they DENIED it).  Actaully it seems they are the ones abusing and disobeying the laws.  To the lawyers a.k.a officers of the court and known to have the highest integrity, please be guided by the lawyer’s oath.

 

Lawyer’s Oath

I, do solemnly swear that I will maintain allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines, I will support the Constitution and obey the laws as well as the legal orders of the duly constituted authorities therein; I will do no falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in court; I will not wittingly or willingly promote or sue any groundless, false or unlawful suit, or give aid nor consent to the same; I will delay no man for money or malice, and will conduct myself as a lawyer according to the best of my knowledge and discretion, with all good fidelity as well to the courts as to my clients; and I impose upon myself these voluntary obligations without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion. So help me God.

IBP, please act according to the law.  Do your responsibilities. Why not file a petition to the court?

To the media, i dont know if you are aware with your ethical standards. BIAS! Anyway, i am not against PNOY nor PRO GMA buti I believe in the rule of law.

****

Impeachment in the Philippines is an expressed power of the Congress of the Philippines to formally charge a serving government official with an impeachable offense. After being impeached by the House of Representatives, the official is then tried in the Senate. If convicted, the official is either removed from office or censured.

Impeachment followed by conviction is often the only way to forcibly remove a sitting official. While “impeachment” is often used to refer to the entire process of removing an official from office, it only formally refers to the indictment stage in the House of Representatives, not the trial stage in the Senate. Under the current Constitution, an official can be impeached if one third of the House of Representatives votes in favor. Since it takes only a simple majority to set the agenda or to adjourn the House, it can be difficult for a minority of one third to bring a vote and impeach an official. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impeachment_in_the_Phillippines)

IMPEACHABLE OFFICERS:

Philippine Constitution ARTICLE XI Section 2.

1. The President,

2. the Vice-President,

3. the Members of the Supreme Court,

4. the Members of the Constitutional Commissions, and

5. the Ombudsman

may be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of

1. culpable violation of the Constitution,

2. treason,

3. bribery,

4. graft and corruption,

5. other high crimes, or

6. betrayal of public trust.

All other public officers and employees may be removed from office as provided by law, but not by impeachment

THE GROUNDS ARE EXLUSIVE.

 

For the rules of procedure on Impeachment trial  in the SENATE : http://www.chanrobles.com/legal11impeachmentrules.htm

Resolution no. 39: http://www.lawphil.net/congress/senate/r_39_2011.html

  *****

 anyway, since the impeachement case against CJ Corono got enough numbers, my questions are:

1. for what ground?

      Hontiveros said the impeachment complaint also discussed Corona’s voting pattern on cases involving Arroyo. “Not only has he exhibited this voting pattern, but he alone among the justices has a close association with Arroyo.  (abs-cbn website)

      Ms. Hontiveros, i dont need to explain this word: INDEPENDENCE.

       Why not impeach ALL JUSTICES who voted according to their own judgment?

2. why (only) CORONA? how about the other justices?

****

PHILIPPINE DEMOCRACYDEMOCRACY…. DAMAGED

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