Duterte: I cannot oust Sereno
Stressing that only Congress had the power to remove Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, President Rodrigo Duterte denied Tuesday that he was behind any effort to unseat her.
“Congress, you be the judge. Hindi ako pwede, executive department ako. Co-equal kami eh so hindi ako pwedeng mag-[desisyon]. Executive department lang ako,” Duterte said in a speech at the oath-taking ceremony of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission officials in Malacañang.
(I cannot judge. I’m with the Executive branch. We are co-equals, so I cannot decide, I just cover the Executive department.)
“’Sabihin n’yo ako na naman nag-ano sa kanya. You can ask anybody – I never initiated ‘to si Sereno,” Duterte said in a speech at the oath-taking ceremony of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission officials in Malacañang.
(The project of the Supreme Court, you may say that I am behind in criticizing her. You can ask anybody, I never initiated anything against Sereno.)
“Eh I just called her attention because of the so many cases pending tapos pa-iba ang decision niya (she keeps on dilly-dallying). ‘Yung the very complaint now of the Justices. ‘Yun man ‘yon. O kita mo, ‘di lumabas rin (That’s it. See, it all came out),” he added.
Sereno is currently facing an impeachment complaint before the House of Representatives, which is hearing allegations that she misdeclared her wealth, among others.
Citing testimonies from the impeachment proceedings at the House of Representatives, Solicitor General Jose Calida on Monday filed a quo warranto petition against Sereno before the SC questioning her qualifications as Chief Justice.
The SC en banc on Tuesday gave Sereno 10 days to comment on the petition.
Duterte said Congress would be the sole judge on Sereno’s fate as the top magistrate, citing the legislative and judiciary as co-equal branches of government.
He, however, said that he was ready to listen to anyone’s grievances against any official.
“Pero dito kung sinong may sabit, sabihin ninyo (But whoever has issues, just tell me). I said I give you the authority to… Let me know by what means, let me know and I’ll give you the time and space here,” he added. /cbb
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