January 16, 2012
As the Senate begins the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, who as a member of the Philippine Senate will sit as one of the trial’s senator-judges, reminds the public that impeachment is a “constitutional mechanism” for “exacting public accountability from high-ranking public officials.”
“No country in the world is free from political conflict and disputes,” Pangilinan says. “In this context, what separates the less progressive nations from the more progressive ones is the ability and capacity to resolve these conflicts within the parameters of the rule of law and, in our setting, the Constitution.”
“The impeachment process is one such conflict-resolution mechanism enshrined in the Constitution,” he points out.
When asked earlier how the impeachment process will benefit ordinary Filipinos, Pangilinan answered, “It is a constitutional mechanism enshrined in our fundamental law to exact public accountability from our high-ranking officials who have been accused of wrongdoing. Exacting public accountability is necessary if our society is to have a healthy respect for the rule of law. Otherwise lawlessness, abuses and disregard for the law will be the rule rather than the exception.”