MBC STATEMENT ON THE IMPEACHMENT PROCESS

18 January 2012 - The Makati Business Club wishes to make the following statements on the on-going Corona impeachment process: 1. MBC has been most supportive of and will continue to support the resolve of the Aquino Administration to tread the straight and narrow path of the “daang matuwid” and bring to justice those responsible for corruption, electoral fraud and human rights violations and end the impunity that characterized the previous administration. 2. MBC applauds that firm resolve that has resulted in the resignation of the former ombudsman, the arrest of former President Arroyo, the manhunt for General Palparan and the start of an impeachment trial against Chief Justice Corona. 3. MBC does not agree that the impeachment trial is an attack on the entire Supreme Court but is a process of making accountable an individual Supreme Court member who cannot be removed from office except by impeachment. MBC therefore views the impeachment process as part of our democratic system of checks and balances and certainly not a step towards a Constitutional Crisis. 4. MBC stresses though that this trial cannot be divorced from the reality of the urgent need to reform a judicial system that is widely perceived to have failed to deliver justice especially to the poor. 5. MBC looks forward to the Senator Judges putting only the best interests of the Filipino Nation first when they make their decisions in the Impeachment Court while giving the Chief Justice every opportunity and means to defend himself so that the ensuing trial will receive as wide a support from the public as possible. 6. Finally and most importantly, MBC asks all Filipinos to watch, monitor and guard this process and express their sentiments in peaceful but effective ways. MBC through the Integrity Initiative—a private sector-led campaign—has engaged and continues to engage the judiciary as a key pillar in the effort to rebuild a culture of integrity in the country. Rather than viewing this impeachment process as an attack on them as the judicial branch of government, the women and men of the Philippine Judicial System must see the process as an opportunity to make themselves accountable to the people, identify their weaknesses, learn from their mistakes, and take to heart their critical role in helping address one of the roots of decades of non-peace in the country— their role in delivering speedy justice for all. MBC will monitor daily the progress of the impeachment process even as we shall continue to watch GMA’s plunder and electoral fraud cases, the continuing Ampatuan massacre trial, the manhunt for General Palaparan as well as this administration’s performance in economic and social objectives set for 2012 and beyond.

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