(L-R) Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno; President Rodrigo Duterte
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday asked PDP-LABAN congressmen to work double time to speed up the impeachment proceedings against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
However, the President stressed that the entire process still depends on the Supreme Court if it will favor the quo warranto petition filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida.
“I am directing my party-mates. I am asking you to impeach the Chief Justice. But the ball is still in the hands of the Supreme Court. I don’t know what is coming her way,” Duterte said.
Upon his arrival in Davao City, Mr. Duterte clarified that he cannot dictate the Senate especially when it comes to the impeachment proceedings though he insists Sereno’s immediate ouster.
Duterte once again lambasted Sereno who he now considers his foe, calling the chief magistrate “ignorant.”
“Alam mo kung bakit (Do you know why) I castigated you in public? Ignorante ka eh (Because you’re ignorant),” he said.
The president mentioned the time when Sereno advised judges whose names appeared on the drug watchlist not to submit themselves to an arrest unless there is a warrant for their arrest.
“Hindi ko susundin yan Madam Justice kasi bobo ‘yang batas mo (I will not follow that Madam Justice because your law is stupid). Pag ganun yan, lalaban lahat yan (If that’s the case, everyone will be defiant),” he said.
“Even an ordinary flunker of law, alam yan (knows) that there are instances where the military and the police and persons in authority and civilians for that matter, walang koneksyon sa gobyerno (not connected with the government), can make a citizen’s arrest,” he added.
Duterte and Sereno exchanged tirades when the chief justice claimed that the former was behind the petition to oust her. Before he left for China, Duterte in return tagged Sereno as his number one enemy. — Marje Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue