The ongoing House justice committee hearings on the impeachment complaint filed by lawyer Lorenzo Gadon against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno has not been going well as far as administration allies are concerned.
Apparently, some committee members were disappointed with Gadon’s performance especially in his failure to answer squarely their questions, since Gadon admitted that he has no personal knowledge of Sereno’s actions but based his complaint on newspaper clippings and documents from the Supreme Court.
Some are saying that Gadon’s appearance and his insistence that the House justice committee should procure some documents from government agencies smacks of a fishing expedition.
As a matter of fact, some justice committee members accused Gadon of issuing perjurious statements that will eventually weaken the case against Sereno.
I think it is incumbent upon the House of Representatives to be careful and circumspect in investigating the chief justice as it might undermine the independence of one of the democratic institutions in our country.
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez should spare the Supreme Court and the country from his political vendetta because it is not good for Congress and not good for democracy in our country.
The speaker should respect the institution and what it represents and must not undermine our democratic institutions.
One must remember that being a democracy, there are three branches of government. There is a separation of powers between the executive, the legislative and the judiciary and they are independent of and from each other.
As such, they are coequal and their functions and powers are well defined by the Constitution and they provide check and balance in order to prevent abuse of power.
It is best that we promote and sustain this principle to keep the fires of democracy burning in our country.
Any move, like Congress ordering the arrest of the chief justice for refusing to appear at a House committee hearing, would undermine and compromise the balance of power within our democracy and thrust us back to autocratic rule.
Let us be vigilant in protecting our democracy from those who would like to undermine it in order to honor the memories of those who died for it from national hero Jose Rizal to the slain Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr.
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