Why blame Duterte? Sereno created her own problems

By: Inquirer.net June 01,2018 - 10:46 PM


Palace to UN rapporteur

Why blame President Duterte?

This was the reaction of Malacañang yesterday as it hit back at United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur Diego Garcia-Sayan who remarked that the “vulgar” words of President Rodrigo Duterte against ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno “constitute a vicious attack on the independence of the judiciary.”

However, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said it was “unfortunate” that Sayan “has been misinformed on the case surrounding the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines.”

We reiterate that the President’s dislike of the ousted Chief Justice is not an attack on the judiciary or an affront to judicial independence,” Roque said in a statement.

Roque said President Duterte’s criticisms of Sereno was only a reaction to her allegations in many public fora saying the chief executive was behind the quo warranto petition filed against her by Solicitor General Jose Calida.

Roque also responded to the remarks of Sayan that the ouster of Sereno has a “chilling effect” on the judiciary.

The Palace official said the executive branch “recognizes the independence and respects the separation of powers among the three branches of government.”

“The High Court granted the quo warranto petition against the ex-CJ after allowing the oral arguments which found the former top magistrate disqualified for the position,” he said.

“It is ex-CJ Sereno’s colleagues, associate justices known for their independence and unassailable integrity, who voted for her to be ousted,” he added.

Roque said it was Sereno’s peers who asked the ex-CJ to go on indefinite leave “to protect the integrity and reputation of the court after it became clear that she failed to file some of her annual Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth.”

“It is therefore obvious that former Chief Justice Sereno created her own problems and was removed by her colleagues in the Supreme Court,” he said.

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