Businessmen to Congress: Be ‘judicious’ in handling impeachment cases
A group of businessmen urged the Congress on Thursday to be “judicious” in handling impeachment cases as it could negatively affect investors’ perception on the country’s economic and political stability.
The Makati Business Club (MBC) expressed “serious concern” over the “unprecedented number” of impeachment complaints lodged against the government’s high-ranking officials, including against President Rodrigo Duterte, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, and Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chair Andres Bautista.
Such cases could hamper the country’s development as it could divert the lawmakers’ attention away from addressing pertinent legislative agenda, the organization said.
“We also wish to express serious concern over the implications of impeachment cases on our nation’s development. We worry that these would divert the attention of Congress away from addressing the heavy legislative agenda which, in turn, will have an unfavorable impact to the attainment of the government’s ten-point socioeconomic agenda,” the MBC said in a statement.
“Undoubtedly, impeachment cases will also negatively affect investors’ perception to the economic and political stability of our country,” it added.
The House committee on justice on Wednesday found the impeachment complaint filed by lawyer Larry Gadon against Sereno “sufficient in form and substance” because the complaints were duly endorsed and verified by 41 lawmakers.
Gadon alleged that Sereno failed to disclose her real net worth, bought a luxury car using public funds, and pressured judges to defy the Duterte administration.
While it is a vital component of ensuring checks and balances in the government, impeachment cases should be backed by strong evidence and not based on mere accusations or anecdotes, MBC explained.
“We believe that the impeachment process engraved in the Constitution must not be invoked arbitrarily to persecute and silence individuals with opposing views, nor to undermine independent institutions, the bulwark of our nation’s democracy,” the MBC said.
“The impeachment cases must be substantiated by strong evidence of culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of public trust, corruption or other high crimes, and not supported by mere accusations or anecdotes,” it added. /je
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