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Palace: Don’t trivialize impeachment

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 16:08:00 01/14/2009

Filed Under: Impeachment, Judiciary (system of justice), Government, Politics

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang said reported moves to impeach Chief Justice Reynato Puno added to the “trivialization” of a process that should be a “tool of last resort.”

In a statement he read at his weekly news conference at the Palace Wednesday, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said the “nation dies a bit” when the impeachment process is reduced to a “trivial pursuit.”

Puno is reportedly facing an impeachment complaint over his alleged inaction on a Supreme Court ruling nullifying the 2007 victory of Negros Oriental Representative Jocelyn Limkaichong on citizenship grounds.

“The efforts to impeach Supreme Court [Chief] Justice Reynato Puno over allegations that he committed a leadership lapse contribute to the growing trivialization of the impeachment process,” Ermita said in the statement.

“According to the democratic processes of the world, impeachment is the tool of last resort,” Ermita, who is also President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s spokesman, said. “According to global tradition and practice, we should wield its axe sparingly. Because when do, the entire nation dies a bit and is diminished.”

“Only grave crimes must be deal with by the [impeachment] process,” he said.

Ermita expressed dismay at how impeachment has become a yearly ordeal for Arroyo.

Each year, the overwhelmingly pro-administration House of Representatives has rejected impeachment complaints against Arroyo, mostly for alleged election fraud and corruption.

“Impeachment has become the most popular political blood sport, a yearly ritual [that] our degenerated national politics cannot seem to live without,” Ermita noted.

“There is a time to impeach, which must be far between. There is a time to rein in the urge to use that powerful tool of democracy in the pursuit of trivial matters, which should be most of the time,” he said.

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Written by joelguinto

WedUTC2009-01-14T10:03:57+00:00UTC01bUTCWed, 14 Jan 2009 10:03:57 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am01

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