Duterte maintained that he was not behind the impeachment move against Sereno

Published March 6, 2018, 8:47 PM

by Roel Tibay

By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte maintained that he was not behind the impeachment move against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and would let Congress decide on the matter.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, in his speech during the 'merienda' he hosted for the rebel returnees at the Malacañan Palace on February 21, 2018, assures the surrenderees government support for them to be reintegrated back to the society. YANCY LIM/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO
The President insisted that he would not meddle in the affairs of a co-equal branch of government.
“You can ask anybody, I never initiated Sereno. I just called her attention because of the so many cases pending tapos pa-iba ang decision niya [and her varying decisions],” he said during the oath-taking of new Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission officials in Malacañang.
“Congress, well, you be the judge. Hindi ako pwede. Executive department ako. Co-equal kami so hindi ako pwedeng mag-ano [I cannot because I’m with the Executive department. We are co-qual branches so I cannot meddle],” he added.
Th embattled Chief Justice faces an impeachment complaint in Congress for allegedly failing to submit her Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) in recent years. The Office of Solicitor General has also filed a petition before the Supreme Court seeking to invalidate Sereno’s appointment.
Malacañang earlier said it has no preference if Sereno should be removed from power through impeachment or quo warranto proceedings. It said it would respect any decision of the Supreme Court and Congress on the fate of Sereno.