Justice Martires says he never meant to 'faith-shame' Sereno | Inquirer News
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Justice Martires says he never meant to ‘faith-shame’ Sereno

/ 06:41 PM June 20, 2018

Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Martires on Wednesday said he never meant to “faith-shame” former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno when he asked her if she thought that invoking God was a sign of mental illness.

Martires said if he has to apologize, then he will apologize to the former Chief Justice for the comment he made during the oral argument on the quo warranto petition that led to Sereno’s ouster.

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One of the questions that Martires asked Sereno during the oral arguments was if she considered a person’s invocation of God as the “source of personal strength” a mental illness.

During Martires’ interview with members of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) on Wednesday, he explained, “Lahat tayo naniniwala sa Diyos. We all have the right to say that God is the source of all the strength, God is the reason why you know, you are intelligent and you can say that every day. In fact, you can pray every minute. It is not a sign of mental illness.”

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The JBC interviewed Martires as one of the aspirants to fill the Ombudsman post to be vacated this year by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales.

A group of priests, clergymen, and religious teachers had filed an opposition against Martires’ possible appointment as Ombudsman citing the question he posed to Sereno.

READ: Clergymen oppose nomination of SC justice as Ombudsman

However, Martires claimed that he never meant to humiliate Sereno.

As for the group opposing his possible appointment to the Ombudsman post, Martires said he is grateful. “I thank these Catholic priests for filing their opposition. They made me strong,” he said.

Meanwhile, Martires denied being close to President Rodrigo Duterte denied being close to the President.

“I do not think I am close to the President because I never got the chance to talk to him not even during the San Beda homecoming,” Martires said.  /vvp

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