For Akbayan Party, the impeachment proceedings against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno are not signs of a democracy in action but symptoms of a democracy malfunction.
“The malicious intent behind the proceedings puts the ‘mal’ in ‘malfunction’ as the House Committee on Justice makes a mockery of our democracy,” said Machris Cabreros, Akbayan President.
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez has previously stated that the Chief Justice’s lawyers will not be allowed entry to the committee room, and insisted that the Chief Justice herself shows up for the hearing, depriving her of her right to counsel, and subsequently, her right to cross-examine the complainant’s witnesses.
In the previous hearing, the House Committee on Justice has also been stingy in giving Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin and Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman the chance to voice out their concerns in the proceedings, despite being duly elected representatives of the Filipino people.
“How can it be democracy in action when rights are being disregarded and disrespected? No lawyers to defend the Chief Justice, no fair share of the opposing side, no real democracy,” Cabreros stressed.
“The independence and integrity of our democratic institutions are at stake. If the House leadership have forgotten about that, the people will surely remember,” she added. ###