AN ORGANIZATION of lawyers has urged the public to exercise restraint from filing impeachment complaints against government officials.

Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) national president Abdiel Dan Elijah Fajardo in a statement on Wednesday said that although impeachment is a political exercise, it must be used sparingly as it is, they said, is a "bitter medicine."

"While impeachment is by and large a political exercise, it should be used sparingly and only in the gravest of instances," said Fajardo.

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno is now facing an impeachment complaint for culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust.

The same complaint is being pushed against Commission on Elections (Comelec) chief Andres Bautista over allegations of ill-gotten wealth and is being planned to be filed against Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales.

"The frequency and rate of these impeachment initiatives dilutes its power, strains the limited resources of Congress and, presents troubling questions whether like any other device, impeachment is being wielded wisely or carelessly," Fajardo added.

The IBP stressed that impeachment could be an attack against the Constitution when misused to undermine the independence of the judiciary.

"It is an assault upon the Constitution and the very ideal of limited government that is enshrined in it, when impeachment is misused as the very tool to undermine judicial independence," the organization said.

The IBP has vowed to closely monitor the impeachment complaints filed against the above-named officials in order to "protect the rule of law." (SunStar Philippines)