CJ Sereno should consider resignation — Duterte

Published April 13, 2018, 3:33 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Genalyn Kabiling

Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno should consider resignation or else face impeachment before she brings “chaos” to the country, President Duterte declared this morning.

Upon arrival in Davao City from Hong Kong early this morning, the President called anew for the removal of Sereno, saying she was “ignorante” (ignorant) and “bobo” (stupid) about the country’s laws.

President Rodrigo Duterte reiterated his call to his party mates to oust Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno during a press conference at the Davao International Airport upon his arrival from China and Hong Kong on Friday dawn.  (Keith Bacongco / MANILA BULLETIN)
President Rodrigo Duterte reiterated his call to his party mates to oust Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno during a press conference at the Davao International Airport upon his arrival from China and Hong Kong on Friday dawn. (Keith Bacongco / MANILA BULLETIN)

Duterte, a former prosecutor, criticized Sereno for foolishly advocating the need for arrest warrants in the government’s war on illegal drugs and other crimes, insisting that warrantless arrest is permitted in certain cases.

“Just because you are the Chief Justice, you are not smart… If you are that ignorant, you better go. You are just risking the country into a chaos. Umalis ka na (You should leave),” he said.

Duterte also found Sereno’s term until 2030 “way too long for an ignorant Chief Justice.” “It’s too long. Tama na ‘yan (That’s enough), give way. If I were you, I will resign,” he added.

Sereno earlier took an indefinite leave to prepare her defense before the impeachment proceedings in Congress. She has been accused of failure to declare her true wealth, among others, which she has denied.

Aside from the impeachment case, Sereno also faces a separate petition filed by the Office of the Solicitor General before the Supreme Court seeking to nullify her appointment

In his remarks today, the President acknowledged that Sereno should have been removed from the SC top post a long time ago for her ignorance of the law. He said if Sereno was smart, no one would oppose her and point out mistakes in her pronouncements.

Sereno previously told judges linked to the narcotics trade not to surrender to authorities without a valid arrest warrant.

“Alam mo kung bakit (Do you know why) I castigated you in public? Ignorante ka eh (You’re ignorant). There was a time, we were in the thick of the campaign at sinabi mo sa mga public (you said in public), ‘Do not submit yourself to an arrest unless there is a warrant for your arrest,'” Duterte said.

“Sabi ko, “Hindi ko susundin ‘yan, Madame Justice kasi b*** ‘yang bat — batas mo (I said, ‘I will not follow that, madam Justice because your law is stupid.'” he added.

He explained that a warrantless arrest was possible if a crime is about to be committed in my presence or the crime is being committed.

“Kaya sabi ko torpe ka, that’s why should not be there. For a Chief Justice, hindi mo alam ‘yan? Bakit ka magbigay ng salita ng ganun? Kaya nagalit ako sa iyo (you don’t know that? Why would issue that statement? That’s why I’m angry with you] because even an ordinary flunker ng law, alam ‘yan [knows that),” he said.

“Talagang dapat paalisin ka, noon pa. B*** ka na, p***** i** mo (You should have been ousted a long time ago. You’re stupid, you son of a b*tch),” he added.

The President also clarified that he was urging his partymates, not Congress, to impeach Sereno.

“I am not directing Congress, I am not a member of Congress. I am directing my partymates. O kaya sabi ko, ‘Partido naman kaya tayo, sumali ka na dito sa PDP (So I said, ‘Since we are party mates, you joined PDP), then, I am asking you to impeach Chief Justice,” he said.

 
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