BAGUIO CITYSolicitor General Jose Calida on Tuesday clarified that there was no order from President Rodrigo R. Duterte for him to file a quo warranto petition against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
The President never instructed me to file a quo warranto case against respondent Sereno, it is not his style but under Rule 66, I have the power to file a quo warranto on my own without the President's instruction. Yes. I can look at you straight in the eye and say yes the president has nothing to do with this, Calida told reporters before the start of the oral arguments held in Baguio City.
Calida also expressed gratitude to the support of President Duterte on the quo warranto petition filed against the top magistrate.
I'm very happy that he supported out quo warranto, he even said I'll do my best, rest assured I will do my best, he noted.
The top government counsel 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).
It may be recalled that Calida's petition against Sereno stemmed from a letter filed by suspended lawyer Eligio Mallari, urging him to initiate a quo warranto proceeding against her.
Before leaving for the Boao Forum for Asia on Monday, the President said he had made it clear that he had nothing to do with Sereno's ouster, saying, it has never been his character to get back at enemies even at the time when he was facing many cases filed by his political rival former House Speaker Prospero Nograles.
Sereno earlier said the public could no longer be deceived as it is clear that her impeachment in Congress and the filing of quo warranto petition had the President's go-signal.
"Filipinos are smart. They understand. You do not need to spell out the truth for themIt can't be denied that there is an unseen hand behind this, the Chief Justice said. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency