Philippines: Statement from the Coalition against Summary Execution

Asia Human Rights
May 18, 2018
Reproduced with Permission
Asian Human Rights Commission

A Statement from Coalition Against Summary Execution (CASE) forwarded by the Asian Human Rights Commission

We, at Coalition Against Summary Execution (CASE)*, condemn in the strongest terms the Supreme Court's decision granting the Solicitor General’s petition for Quo Warranto against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

It is abhorring to see the Supreme Court majority surrender its independence to the political pressure of a co-equal branch of government. The decision granting the Quo Warranto petition does not affect the Chief Justice alone but primarily impacts upon the entire nation eroding not only judicial independence but also the rule of law. It has crippled all the democratic institutions thereby damaging the system of checks and balances within the government. CASE joins all other freedom loving Filipinos in expressing its dissent to the said decision.

The Quo Warranto proceeding could never be a substitute for impeachment as our Constitution is very clear that the Chief Justice could only be removed by impeachment. In allowing the Quo Warranto, it pre-empted her impeachment trial before the Senate, usurped the power of Congress to remove an impeachable official, and denied the Chief Justice the opportunity to defend herself in a public trial.

With the said decision, the same could now be used to go after other impeachable officials who, in the eyes of the Chief Executive, do not support his administration. CASE rejects this decision of the Supreme Court and calls for its reconsideration by following the dictates of conscience and the rule of law.

- Davao City, Philippines. 12th of May 2018