Monday July 23, 2018

If proven to be behind Sereno ouster, Duterte vows to quit

MANILA. In this photo taken on May 11, 2018, ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno addresses the crowd shortly after the Supreme Court voted 8-6 to grant the quo warranto petition that sought to invalidate her appointment. (File Photo)

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday, May 16, promised to resign, if evidence shows that he was behind the Supreme Court's decision to oust Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

Duterte again denied he had anything to do with Sereno's ouster, stressing that he was not the one who prodded the filing of the quo warranto petition before the high court.

The quo warranto petition, which sought to invalidate Sereno's appointment in 2012, was filed by the Office of the Solicitor General. The country's highest court on May 11 voted 8-6 to grant the petition and remove Sereno as chief justice.

Duterte reiterated it is "not [his] habit" to go after any government official who oppose him.

"I don't want my named to be dragged in that issue (Sereno's impeachment). If there was one congresswoman or congressman, or justice -- single justice -- who will say I talked to them [to vote in favor of Sereno's ouster], I can guarantee you, I will resign," the President said in a chance interview with Palace reporters.

"I already told Sereno, 'I never intervened...' It's not my habit . It's out of my character to do that. I'm not going after anyone," he added.

On April 10, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. issued a statement saying the President has called on his PDP-Laban partymates in Congress to expedite the impeachment of Sereno.

Read: Duterte asks PDP-Laban partymates in House to impeach Sereno

The President's previous remark stemmed from Sereno's insinuation that the former might have a hand in Calida's move to file a quo warranto petition before the Supreme Court.

In his latest statement, Duterte said he does not interfere in any decision made by Calida.

"Ask anyone, I never lifted a finger. Calida, it was his job to find faults," he said. "Whatever he thinks that it is his duty to perform, I don't meddle," he added. (SunStar Philippines)