The Makati Business Club (MBC) has cautioned against the slew of impeachment complaints filed against the country’s highest-ranking government officials, warning that this “unprecedented” development would “negatively affect investors’ perception to the economic and political stability of our country.”
The businessmen expressed “serious concern” over the implications of the impeachment cases on national development, worried that these might overshadow the momentum for the heavy legislative agenda of the government, “which, in turn, will have an unfavorable impact to the attainment of the government’s 10-point socioeconomic agenda.”
“Undoubtedly, impeachment cases will also negatively affect investors’ perception of the economic and political stability of our country. As such, we respectfully remind Congress to be judicious in applying this ultimate accountability tool and to treat this as a weapon of last resort, as our Constitution intends it to be,” the MBC said in a statement on Thursday.
This comes a day after an impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno passed the twin tests of sufficiency in form and substance.
Apart from the top official of the high court, lawmakers and other stakeholders have either threatened or moved to pursue impeachment cases against President Duterte, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, Vice President Leni Robredo and Commission on Elections Chair Andres Bautista.
In a comment that throws shade at some lawmakers who use the impeachment process to silence political opponents, the MBC said the process should not be used arbitrarily, noting that it should be treated as a “weapon of last resort.”
“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.
Furthermore, the MBC, which is composed of the largest and most dynamic corporations in the country, said the cases “must be substantiated by strong evidence” and “not supported by mere accusations or anecdotes,” which may be seen as a reference to the case against Sereno.
The complaint, which was filed by lawyer Lorenzo Gadon, has been criticized by lawmakers for relying on newspaper reports as evidence.