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Makati Business Club worried impeachment impact on economy

MANILA – The Makati Business Club on Thursday said it was “deeply concerned” over impeachment cases filed against top officials since it could distract the government from growing the economy.

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and Commission on Elections Chairman Andres Bautista are facing separate impeachment complaints before the House of Representatives. An impeachement complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte was dismissed in May due to “insufficiency in substance.”

The complaint against Sereno advanced this week, after it was deemed sufficient in form and substance.

“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 group said in a statement.

“We also wish to express serious concern over the implications of impeachment cases on our nation’s development,” the MBC said.

“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,” it said.

The Philippines has seen 2 impeachment trials since democracy was restored in 1986.

Former president Joseph Estrada’s trial was cut short by a popular uprising in 2001 that removed him from power. In 2012, Chief Justice Renato Corona was ousted for misdeclaring his wealth.

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