Palace laughs off Sereno ‘people power’ vs. Duterte
Malacañang on Wednesday said ousted Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno can do whatever she wants to do, including her plan to lead a “people’s movement” which she said will hold the government accountable for its actions.
“We are free. So they can enjoy whatever they want to do and she has to do something now, she is no longer Chief Justice,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in an interview with state-run Radyo Pilipinas.
Roque, however, expressed doubts whether Sereno’s so-called people’s movement could muster enough support from the Filipino people.
“Eh baka naman mabilang lang sa daliri ang kaniyang mga tagasunod (She may only have a few followers),” Roque said.
He advised Sereno to respect the Supreme Court’s final decision upholding its ruling to grant the quo warranto petition that ousted her as the country’s chief magistrate.
“The Supreme Court has decided; that’s final decision. Whether we accept it or not, we have to respect it. That’s the system of our nation,” Roque said.
Roque wished Sereno good luck as a private citizen, appealing to the people to respect the decision of the highest court of the land.
“Goodbye Meilou and good luck to the next journey of your life,” he said.
It was Solicitor General Jose Calida who questioned the appointment of Sereno by filing the quo warranto petition over her failure to file statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) for at least eight years when she was UP professor.
The SC voted 8-6 in favor of Calida’s petition on May 11 and came out with the same vote last Tuesday to deny Sereno’s motion for reconsideration.
On Tuesday, Sereno delivered a speech in a forum held at the University of the Philippines where she accused President Rodrigo Duterte of weakening the rule of law.
Contrary to Sereno’s claim, Duterte had insisted that he has nothing to do with the ouster move against the country’s first lady chief justice. (PNA)
“I stand before you now stripped of my authority and position by an unjust decision.
I do not need to be the Chief Justice to defend the laws and the Constitution. My story is not unique. It is a mirror, a warning and a call to action to each of us together as a nation,” These were the fighting words of Sereno on Tuesday’ June 19, as she accused President Rodrigo Duterte of weakening the rule of law, hours after the Supreme Court upheld its May 11 decision to grant a government petition to remove her from office.
“The responsibility for the weakening of the rule of law is his,” Sereno said in a speech to a gathering of her supporters at the University of the Philippines Diliman in Quezon City.
The gathering was held to protest the Supreme Court’s final ruling.