MANILAPresident Rodrigo R. Duterte's call to fast-track the impeachment of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno was directed to congressmen belonging to the country's ruling political party, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino Lakas ng Bayan (PDP Laban), MalacaAang said Tuesday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this remark following criticism on Duterte's order urging lawmakers to fast-track the impeachment proceedings against Sereno.
The President, as party chairman of PDP Laban, called for the impeachment of Chief Justice Sereno. This was directed to the House of Representatives members belonging to the PDP Laban, Roque said in a statement.
Shortly before departing for the People's Republic of China to attend the Boao Forum of Asia, Duterte called Sereno his enemy and wanted her out of the Supreme Court".
Duterte asked House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to fast-track the impeachment proceedings, describing Sereno as bad for the Philippines.
Sereno earlier asked the President to publicly explain why it was Solicitor General Jose Calida who filed the quo warranto petition.
If you really didn't have anything to do with this, please explain why Solgen Calida, who reports to you, filed the quo warranto petition. Surely you must explain to the people why this unconstitutional act, Sereno was earlier quoted saying.
Duterte has said several times that he did not interfere with Sereno's ouster.
Sereno is currently facing her fellow magistrates in an oral argument on the quo warranto petition to answer their questions in relation to the allegations made in the petition.
Calida argued that Sereno did not meet the specific qualification of proven integrity for the Chief Justice post with her failure to comply with the required submission of her 10-year statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALNs).
Sereno has insisted that the SC has no jurisdiction and authority to remove her from office because the 1987 Constitution provides that she could only be ousted by impeachment in Congress as an impeachable official.
A quo warranto proceeding is an action by the government against a person who unlawfully holds a public office or holds a position where he or she is not qualified. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency