Duterte's call to impeach Sereno made to House party mates, Palace says
Malacanang justified on Tuesday President Rodrigo Duterte's call for Congress to immediately impeach Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte's call was addressed to his party mates in the House of Representatives.
"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," he said.
Opposition lawmakers have criticized Duterte for ordering the House to fast-track Sereno's impeachment.
Gabriela Women’s Party Representatives Arlene Brosas and Emmi de Jesus said the directive further erodes any semblance of decency or democracy that the Duterte regime hopes to project as it consolidates power by eliminating critics in order to complete its dictatorial designs.
Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate has accused that Duterte's order could be just a smokescreen for Sereno's impending removal via the "unconstitutional" quo warranto proceeding in the Supreme Court.
Prior to his departure for China on Monday, Duterte declared that he is now Sereno's enemy for accusing him of being behind the move to oust her.
Since she kept on insisting on it, Duterte said he was asking Congress to immediately impeach Sereno and for Solicitor General Jose Calida to do whatever he could to remove the chief magistrate through a petition before the Supreme Court.
Sereno. on leave as chief justice, appeared in the oral arguments over the quo warranto petition filed by Calida at the Supreme Court's summer session in Baguio. The arguments ended after a testy five hour debate. Celerina Monte/DMS