By Leslie Ann Aquino
Two Catholic prelates on Tuesday slammed President Duterte for ordering Congress to fast track the impeachment of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes said the President has no right to order Congress, an independent institution.
“Duterte has no right to order the Congress to impeach the CJ. Congress is an independent institution from the Executive Department,” he said in an interview.
The Sorsogon prelate said such act is a sign of his being dictatorial and authoritarian, a breach of the Philippine Constitution.
“His act is impeachable! He declared himself an ‘enemy’ of CJ Sereno, an unethical pronouncement of a sitting president!” said Bastes.
Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo agreed with Bastes.
He said the President cannot order Congress as they have “separation of powers.”
“How can Duterte order Congress? Is there not a separation of powers? He has really dictatorial bend,” said Pabillo.
The Manila prelate added that it is Duterte and not Sereno who is not good for the country.
“It is he himself who is not good for the country. He is just blaming others for his ineffectiveness,” Pabillo said.
Bastes believes all these threats against Sereno are desperate attempts to oust her.
“All these threats against the CJ are desperate attempts to oust her because the charges against her are clearly not impeachable,” he said.
On Monday, Duterte said he would ask Congress to fast track the impeachment proceedings against Sereno.