Monday, 19 November, 2018

Duterte orders Congress to fast track impeachment of Chief Justice

Image from CNN Philippines Image from CNN Philippines
Deanna Wagner | 11 April, 2018, 04:50

"I'm putting you on notice that I'm your enemy and have to be out of the Supreme Court", a seething Duterte told Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno in a press conference he held at the global airport in his hometown of Davao City in Mindanao before flying to China to attend an worldwide conference.

The Chief Justice, however, responded with a question of her own.

De Castro, whom Sereno earlier asked to inhibit from the case due to what she said was her "bias and animosity", started the verbal clash when she asked Sereno if she filed her SALN every year. I will see to it.

Addressing the Chief Justice, the President said: "I will help".

"Ikaw Sereno, sinabi ko na sa 'yo hindi ako makialam".

"It is not hard to see that allowing the solicitor general to remove a sitting justice by quo warranto will set a risky precedent that will destroy this public policy", Poblador said, while urging the Supreme Court justices during the oral arguments to dismiss Calida's petition.

The committee report along with the articles of impeachment has already been referred to the plenary for another round of approval.

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Duterte on Monday said he is Sereno's "enemy" after the top magistrate urged him to explain why Calida was seeking the invalidation of her appointment.

"This further erodes any semblance of decency or democracy that this regime hopes to project as it consolidates power by eliminating critics in order to complete its dictatorial designs", the lawmakers added. You have to be out of the Supreme Court. In the press conference, Duterte reiterated his denial that he meddled when Calida filed the petition before the Supreme Court which has taken cognizance of the case.

He called on House Speaker and key ally Pantaleon Alvarez to "kindly fast-track the impeachment" of Sereno. She said the conversation mentioned by Sereno did not happen and she will prove it.

"We are calling on the Filipino people to stand up for what is right and just, and, guard against unwarranted developments in the quo warranto and the impeachment proceedings", he added.

This means that Sereno will not sit in the middle of the 14 other SC justices as Chief Justice on the elevated portion of the session hall, as she used to do since 2012, but will be seated among her lawyers and officials of the Office of the Solicitor General led by Solicitor General Jose C. Calida who, in behalf of the government, filed the quo warranto case. The petition seeks to nullify her appointment before the High Court.

Sereno has voted against several of his controversial proposals, including extending martial law on a restive island and allowing late dictator Ferdinand Marcos to be buried in a cemetery for national heroes, but Duterte denies instigating two attempts to remove her.