The Integrated Bar of the Philippines on Friday urged lawmakers to give a fair treatment on the impending impeachment trial of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
"The Supreme Court itself has repeatedly emphasized our Constitution's built-in bias towards a fearless and an incorruptible judiciary that is prepared to follow the law and to administer it regardless of consequences," the IBP said in a statement.
"We breathe life into this prized democratic value by according the Chief Justice due process of law in accordance with the rules governing the difficult process of impeachment."
Sereno, who is accused of misdeclaring her wealth and violating court procedures, took an indefinite leave starting Thursday to prepare for her possible trial at the Senate.
The IBP noted that the chief magistrate could only be removed from office by impeachment.
"We also express firm belief that conviction after an impeachment trial is the only constitutionally-recognized mode by which to remove a sitting Chief Justice," the group said.
"Any artifice or device intended to solely target the Chief Justice and short-circuit the process would be repugnant to the Constitution, and must be slain on sight if our democratic processes are to be observed."
Sereno will be the second chief magistrate to face an impeachment trial after her predecessor, the late Renato Corona.
In its statement, the IBP also welcomed the designation of Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio as acting head of the Supreme Court.
"Senior Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio has distinguished himself as a highly capable and fiercely independent jurist, and we welcome his assumption as Acting Chief Justice of the Republic of the Philippines," the group said.