Group warns of threats to growth

March 20, 2018 at 15:05

Group warns of threats to growth

MBC urges gov’t to let Sereno impeachment process run its course

By:  / 05:28 AM March 17, 2018

One of the country’s most influential business groups wants the government to let the impeachment process against the chief justice run its course, noting that the respect for the rule of law was “absolutely essential” for business to keep on investing.

In a statement on Friday, the Makati Business Club (MBC) has again voiced its concern regarding the state of politics in the country, warning against its possible implications to the Philippine investment climate.

This developed after Solicitor General Jose Calida filed a petition earlier this month to nullify Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno’s appointment to the Supreme Court amid an ongoing move in Congress to impeach the chief justice.

For its part, MBC wants the government to let Congress follow the impeachment process as mandated by the Constitution.

“Regardless of the outcome of the process, giving the chief justice the chance to defend herself within our constitutionally defined process is essential to demonstrate this country’s respect for the rule of law and to assure all Filipinos that we are protected by our laws,” MBC said.

MBC has been rather vocal regarding its concerns lately. In September last year, the group warned against the slew of impeachment complaints filed against the country’s high-ranking government officials.

During that time, it noted that the move to unseat a number of high ranking officials would “negatively affect investors’ perception on the economic and political stability of our country.”

In its statement late last year, the group also hinted then at the moves against Sereno, the country’s first female chief justice, when they said that cases “must be substantiated by strong evidence” and “not supported by mere accusations or anecdotes.”

To recall, a complaint filed by lawyer Lorenzo Gadon has been criticized by lawmakers for relying on newspaper reports as evidence in his case against Sereno.

This sentiment was echoed on Friday as MBC stressed the importance of upholding laws and contracts.

“It is absolutely essential for businesses that laws and contracts will be upheld for them to invest and create more jobs, which is what will ultimately reduce poverty in a sustainable way,” MBC said.

The warning comes at a time when the Philippines has been enjoying a number of economic milestones such as the fast growth rate of the country’s gross domestic product and the record-high foreign direct investments received as of last year.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said early this week that foreign businessmen brought in a record amount of investments into the country in the first full year of the Duterte administration owing to the Philippines’ strong economy.

In a statement, BSP Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. said foreign direct investment inflows reached a record high of $10 billion in 2017, up by 21.4 percent from the year-ago level.

FDIs in manufacturing reached $1.15 billion, a jump of 244 percent from the 2016 level.


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