Malacañang: Like it or not, Sereno ouster final
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte respects the decision of the Supreme Court to affirm its ouster of Maria Lourdes Sereno as chief justice, Malacañang said on Tuesday, June 19.
"Nirerespeto 'yan ng ating Presidente. Ipatutupad ang desisyon na 'yan dahil 'yan ang trabaho ng Presidente, tagapagpatupad ng mga batas at mga desisyon ng ating Korte Suprema," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in press briefing.
(The President respects that. He will implement that decision because that is the job of the President, to implement the laws and decisions of our Supreme Court.)
While the Palace expects fierce disagreement with the High Court's decision, Roque maintained that the ruling is final and executory. (READ: Senators oppose final SC decision on Sereno ouster)
"Like it or hate it, we have to succumb to the decision of the Supreme Court. That is now a final and executory decision," said Duterte's spokesman.
He even said Filipinos owe it to the country's democratic form of government to respect the Court's decision, even as the critics called it an attack on judicial independence. (READ: Robredo on final Sereno ouster: 'Defend what remains of democracy)
"The President is asking now for the Filipino nation to be united....The Palace knows many oppose the decision but in our system of democracy, the Supreme Court is the final arbiter of legal controversies," said Roque.
Closing the book on Sereno's term as chief justice, Roque said, "We wish her good luck in her everyday life as a private citizen."
Duterte will now have 90 days to choose the next chief justice. Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio is currently acting SC chief.
Sereno's ouster through quo warranto petition was initiated by Solicitor General Jose Calida. Duterte denied he had anything to do with it, then publicly declared support for her removal. Days later, 8 of Sereno's fellow justices voted to oust her.
Special Rapporteur Diego García-Sayán earlier said the attacks against Sereno is a blow to judicial independence and the rule of law. – Rappler.com