Friday, September 25, 2020
More

    Latest Posts

    Duterte now a known dictator with EU Parliament vote

    President Rodrigo Duterte has become a globally infamous dictator with the European Union (EU) Parliament passing a resolution on the country’s human...

    ICHRP mourns state murder of Filipina human rights worker

    Slain paralegal Zara Alvarez helped bring cases of Negros killings to UNHRC “We mourn the killing of human rights...

    Global rights group condemns state murder of Filipino peace consultant

    Assassination of land reform activist Randall Echanis designed to destroy peace dialogue The International Coalition for Human Rights in...

    The Philippine Government Should Immediately Repeal Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, which Harms Human rights and Democracy!

    We Condemn the Duterte government for Continuous Suppression of Human Rights!  Statement of ICHRP-Korea on the signing of the...

    Impeachment of the Chief Justice: Our Institutions on Trial

    Press Statement – As human rights advocates and as officers of the court, we support this constitutionally-mandated impeachment process to hold any one accountable, including those who are charged with frustrating efforts at accountability.

    The impeachment process is a device to make high public officials, including members of the Supreme Court, when warranted, accountable for their actions. It serves as a deterrent to   grave abuse of authority and betrayal of public trust.  It operates on and is meant to preserve and strengthen the principle of checks and balances. Thus, while it is the Chief Justice on the dock, the independence, credibility and integrity of our institutions will all be put to the test in this trial.

    But a critical stance must be taken in examining the proceedings. It will not serve its purpose if the result would be a judiciary that is subservient to the dictates of the other branches of government.

    Any criticism of the Court, or any of its members, must be principled and based on sufficient legal arguments and just grounds. The Court is not immaculately infallible and had its own share of decisions that invited vigorous exceptions or protests from various quarters. But such dissent must not undermine the independence of the judiciary as an institution and should present valid reasons whether or not there should be trust and confidence in the equal and equitable dispensation of justice.

    The Pnoy administration has overtly and covertly shepherded this impeachment.  Yet the impeachment complaint contains on its face a number of serious allegations and grounds that need to be tried objectively and resolved on their merits. It is now incumbent on the House prosecutors to prove any of these grounds convincingly and address the criticism that the complaint was passed with inordinate dispatch and even undue haste for reasons other than that of public interest.

    The Senate sitting as an impeachment body is tasked to decide with judiciousness, unbridled by any other consideration.    Though ultimately more a political exercise in a legal forum to be decided by politicians, the process must not be reduced to a simple numbers game and must be fair and credible. The people must engage and must be involved.

    The impeachment should also not be used to cover up the incompetence and failure of a PNoy administration to concretely address the gut issues of the people, including their unmet basic social and economic needs and the disproportionate priority to largely unheeded demands for justice and accountability for grievous human rights violations.  The process can in fact result and help in no small way in holding the GMA administration itself fully accountable.

    The impeachment against the Chief Justice will certainly set a precedent. Whether it will be a good or bad one will depend on how it will be handled and decided upon and how credible the process is seen by the public. It may make for a better judicial institution by serving as a springboard for reforms in the administration of justice. Or it may bamboozle the courts and undermine the system of supposed checks and balances and be the opening to monopoly of power.

    So-called as the “last bastion of democracy,” the Supreme Court, or any of its members, must be beholden to no one- past or present – and its partiality should be in favour only of the people’s rights and interests.  It must have the moral authority to inspire trust, confidence and belief.

    For us and especially our clients who have less in life and even in law, one thing is of transcendental importance amidst all these — whether our formal democratic institutions can really make our  public officials or any of their perceived proxies truly accountable for their actions. Whatever the outcome of this crucial exercise, the basic political and civil rights and the social and economic demands and needs of the people remain and must be effectively addressed by our institutions. #

    Reference: Atty. Edre U. Olalia, NUPL Secretary General, +639175113373

    National Secretariat
    National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers(NUPL)
    3F Erythrina Bldg., Maaralin corner Matatag Sts. Central District,Quezon City, Philippines
    Tel.No.920-6660,Telefax No. 927- 2812
    Email addresses:nupl2007@gmail.com and nuplphilippines@yahoo.com
    “Visit the NUPL  at http://www.nupl.net/

    By calling yourselves the ‘people’s lawyer,’ you have made a remarkable choice. You decided not to remain in the sidelines. Where human rights are assaulted, you have chosen to sacrifice the comfort of the fence for the dangers of the battlefield. But only those who choose to fight on the battlefield live beyond irrelevance.”  Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno, in his message to the NUPL Founding Congress,Sept. 15, 2007

    Latest Posts

    Duterte now a known dictator with EU Parliament vote

    President Rodrigo Duterte has become a globally infamous dictator with the European Union (EU) Parliament passing a resolution on the country’s human...

    ICHRP mourns state murder of Filipina human rights worker

    Slain paralegal Zara Alvarez helped bring cases of Negros killings to UNHRC “We mourn the killing of human rights...

    Global rights group condemns state murder of Filipino peace consultant

    Assassination of land reform activist Randall Echanis designed to destroy peace dialogue The International Coalition for Human Rights in...

    The Philippine Government Should Immediately Repeal Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, which Harms Human rights and Democracy!

    We Condemn the Duterte government for Continuous Suppression of Human Rights!  Statement of ICHRP-Korea on the signing of the...

    Don't Miss

    Urgently withdraw “red-tagging” of National Council of Churches of the Philippines, restore the peace talks

    November 7, 2019 Ret Maj Gen Delfin Lorenzana, Secretary, Dept of National Defence DND Building, Segundo Ave. Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo Quezon City, Philippines 1110; Email: publicaffairs.dnd@gmail.com Urgently withdraw “red-tagging” of National...

    Asia Pacific Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines Condemns Mass Arrest of Activists in Negros and Metro Manila

    4 November 2019 Asia Pacific Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines Condemns Mass Arrest of Activists in Negros and Metro Manila The Asia Pacific Coalition...

    Condemn mass arrest of 57 unionists and social activists in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental

    November 5, 2019 Hon Michelle Bachelet United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Palais des Nations CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland E-mail: registry@ohchr.org Condemn mass arrest of 57 unionists and social...

    Bicol, Negros, Samar: intensifying repression

    Human rights in the Philippines roundup May-June 2019   The biggest human-rights news in May-June 2019 in the Philippines are the killings and illegal arrests of activists in...

    A/HRC/41/L.20: Resolution on the promotion and protection of human rights in the Philippines

    Reposted from the UN Human Rights Council site (URL source below) Human Rights Council Forty-first session 24 June–12 July 2019 Agenda item 2 Annual report of the United Nations...

    Stay in touch

    To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.