Leni, Noy denounce ‘sour fruit we’re forced to swallow’
Vice President Leni Robredo on Friday called on Filipinos to remain vigilant as the country was “plunged into the depths of uncertainty” with the ouster of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
In a statement, Robredo assailed the Supreme Court vote to remove Sereno by way of a quo warranto petition as “a blatant betrayal of the sacredness of the Constitution.”
She added: “True power will always be with the people. I ask the Filipino people to join me in utmost vigilance as the rest of these developments unfold, and to add their voice as we defend our judicial system, our Constitution and ultimately, our democracy.”
Former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III also slammed the Supreme Court ruling and said the decision was apparently tailor-fit to push the single objective of taking Sereno out of office.
In a statement written in Filipino, the former President used the metaphor of a fruit harvested before its time to describe the sour taste that was left by the high court ruling.
He assailed the justices for choosing to misinterpret the law which, Mr. Aquino maintained, has been very clear in stating that impeachable officials may be removed from office only through the impeachment process.
“Just how sour is this decision that they’re forcing us to swallow?” Mr. Aquino said.
Aquino appointed Sereno Chief Justice in 2012, saying that he believed her legal skills and what would have been her long service in the high court—20 years—would pave the way for lasting judicial reform.
Robredo described the ruling as setting “a very dangerous precedent that may seriously undermine the independence of the judiciary,” and urged people to “raise their voice” against it “to right the wrong” that removed Sereno as Chief Justice, “particularly given how close the vote was for a decision of such magnitude.”
The Supreme Court justices on Friday voted 8-6 favoring the quo warranto petition that removed Sereno from her post.
‘Fight not yet over’
“As the second highest official in the land, let me assure you: The fight is not yet over,” Robredo said.
“At this point, we should not lose hope as there are still legal remedies available. We are disappointed, but we will not stop,” the Vice President said, adding she was also concerned over the coming Supreme Court ruling on her electoral protest against losing vice presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos.
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