By Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos
Malacañang has advised Maria Lourdes P.A. Sereno to reflect instead of grandstanding after she called for President Duterte to resign following her ouster as Chief Justice.
Sereno claimed that Duterte had a hand in the historic decision by the Supreme Court to remove her by voting for the quo warranto petition filed by Solicitor General Calida.
Sereno’s qualifications as Chief Justice was questioned after she allegedly failed to file her Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth for a 17-year period during her stint as a professor at the University of the Philippines in Quezon City.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement that while Malacañang chose to keep its silence, Sereno opted to speak publicly against the President.
“We have earlier refrained from commenting on the former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno’s call for the President to resign. However, the former top magistrate has been engaged in grandstanding and seeking media coverage, pointing an accusing finger at President Duterte for the result of the quo warranto petition filed against her,” Roque said.
Roque said they find this development unfortunate but said that Sereno should realize that her ouster was caused by her own doing.
“We consider this unfortunate for the truth is, four other fingers point to her. Ex-CJ Sereno should closely look at the mirror to see who is behind the Supreme Court ruling. She herself violated the Constitution by not filing her SALN, and she herself managed to alienate her own colleagues at the High Court,” he said.
“The President has not violated the Constitution, and unlike the former Chief Justice, PRRD enjoys high satisfaction, approval, performance, and trust ratings from the Filipino people,” Roque added.
Duterte has insisted that he had no role in the decision to oust Sereno, saying that he will resign if anybody can prove that he meddled with the affairs of the Judiciary.
“If there was one congresswoman or congressman, or Justice, single Justice magsabi may kinausap ako diyan na, I can guarantee you, I will resign,” Duterte said.
“At tanungin niyo maski sino. I never lifted a finger…Kaya ngayon I challenge everybody and anybody,” he added.
Duterte had vowed to push for Sereno’s ouster and urged Congress to fasttrack the impeachment trial.
However, he said that he was just emotional after Sereno accused him of orchestrating her ouster.
“Sinabi ko na sa inyo huwag. Mag-init ang ulo ko. I get emotional. Sinabi ko na sa iyo, kanya wala akong kasali diyan,” he said.