Former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Thursday dared President Rodrigo Duterte to resign, claiming he personally admitted being behind the successful attempt to remove her from the helm of the Supreme Court (SC).
Sereno made the remark a day after Duterte said he would quit the presidency if any one could prove that he had a role behind Sereno’s ouster.
“Kahapon sinasabi niyang—hindi totoo—na magre-resign daw siya. Pang-ilang beses na po nating narinig na magre-resign siya?” Sereno said at a forum organized by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and the anti-extrajudicial killings group Manlaban sa EJK in Pasig City.
“Galing sa kanyang bibig, ang pag-amin na siya ang pasimula at at magpupursigi sa pagtanggal sa akin. Puwes, ginoong Pangulo, mag-resign ka na,” she added, to applause.
She cited Duterte’s marking of himself as her “enemy” in response to her question on why it was Solicitor General Jose Calida, the government’s chief lawyer, who filed the ouster petition against her.
Duterte had also ordered Congress to “fast-track” the impeachment proceedings against Sereno.
But last Friday, days before Congress resumed session, the SC, voting 8-6, kicked Sereno out of office as it granted Calida’s petition for quo warranto, a pleading that sought the invalidation of her appointment as top judge over an alleged lack of integrity.
Hours after her ouster, Sereno said Calida’s attempt to expel her from the Office of the Chief Justice would have ended if Duterte intended for it to.
“If he does not want it, it could have ended, but it did not end. Clear as day,” she had told reporters.
In response, Duterte said he “never lifted a finger” to oust Sereno. (By