BAGUIO CITYSupreme Court Chief Justice (CJ) Maria Lourdes Sereno said Friday she will not resign and would rather be given a day in the Senate impeachment court to see if there is probable cause to impeach her.
That is what I am consistently saying to those who have asked me to resign. I do not owe anyone the duty to resign. I owe the people the duty to tell my story, Sereno said in her speech delivered on the Road to Judicial Reform before law students, officials, and faculty members of the University of Baguio and some regional and municipal judges in the Cordillera region.
Sereno called on the public to "respect the impeachment process" by taking the "only allowable course under the Constitution.
She said the House Committee on Justice has announced that it is done with its proceedings.
"What will happen next is critically important to our democracy, she said. The only constitutionally acceptable manner allowed for handing the impeachment proceeding in the House is for it to vote on the question of probable cause in a timely manner and not to drag it further nor couple it with calls for extra-constitutional help to facilitate the ouster of the chief justice.
She added it is not within the bounds of the law for the "Supreme Court to do the job of the Senate and oust the Chief Justice whether by an internal action or by an action of the Solicitor General.
And it is not and it should not be the House delaying what is already an agonizing and long proceeding, she added. "Either the House has found probable cause or if they have, the House must immediately elevate it to the Senate and not delay.
She said the proponents of her impeachment must bring the case to the Senate if they are so sure of their evidence.
"The proponents of the impeachment have bared uncertainties. They had been contradicting themselves by saying they have solid evidence against me and at the same time they are calling for my resignation, she said.
Sereno's talk was the Chief Justice's first public appearance after she filed a leave from the Supreme Court.
Source: Philippine News Agency