Sereno: SC decision not a factor in fight for democracy, accountability
With the Supreme Court (SC) denying her motion to reverse the decision on the quo warranto petition, former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno said that she will remain a strong voice despite being “stripped of authority.”
“I stand before you now, stripped of my authority and my position by an unjust decision. But I do not have to be Chief Justice to defend our laws and institutions,” Sereno told reporters after her speech at the University of the Philippines on Tuesday.
Sereno also criticized President Rodrigo Duterte, whom she claimed is the reason for the “weakening of the rule of law” and the “anti-people policies.”
The ex-head magistrate asked President Duterte to respond to several issues hounding his administration, such as the controversial position on the West Philippine Sea issue, his war on drugs, and the attempt to adopt a federal form of government.
“Our sights have been set low by the very leaders who should lead us to pursue lofty visions for our nation and our people. Our morale has been crushed by their talk of hopelessness against foreigners. Our spirits have been weakened as our own people are verbally and physically brutalized,” she said.
In a statement, Malacañang said that Filipinos should respect the decision of the high tribunal and unite once again for the betterment of the nation.
“So like it or hate it, we have to succumb to the decision of the Supreme Court. That is now a final and executory decision,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said on Tuesday.”
Sereno and President Duterte have previously clashed on several issues, as the former chief justice voiced her concerns over the deaths due to the drug war. She claimed that the president himself pushed for her ouster as the quo warranto petition was filed by the government’s lawyer, Solicitor General Jose Calida.
Sereno, who also called the president a “blasphemous, self-styled savior,” said the country’s situation is dire and it is not a time for “for jokes, flip-flopping, lies, propaganda and improvisational governance.”
“We are fighting against the viciousness the President has unleashed against the poor, the women, the religious, the Lumads, the workers, whom he directly or indirectly branded as his enemies,” she said.
She also issued a stern warning to President Duterte as she accepted the challenge to lead a “genuine people’s movement,” which aims to hold the government accountable and enlighten Filipinos about the national issues.
“This President has attacked and his supporters have attacked many who dared question his actions. Yet we will stand firm in our right, indeed our responsibility, to ask him the tough questions and take him to account,” she vowed, earning applauses from the crowd.
“Truth has a way of coming out eventually. And he (Duterte) is making a mistake if he thinks the Filipino is so easily fooled,” she said. /ee
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.