Sereno in Senate? Sarcastic Duterte says, ‘Botohin ‘nyo’

Pia Ranada
President Rodrigo Duterte rules out Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio for the top magistrate post, saying the senior associate justice has already said he would decline the post if offered

FIGHTING BACK. Former Supreme Court chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno gives a speech at the University of the Philippines Diliman. File photo by Maria Tan/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte was all sarcasm when asked what he thought of a possible Senate bid by ousted chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. 

O ‘di maganda, palit siya from chief justice to senator, maganda. Botohin ‘nyo,” said Duterte on Thursday, June 28, in Panglao, Bohol. (Then that’s good, she goes from chief justice to senator, good. Vote for her.)

“She wasted the prestige of the chief justice. Sayang (Too bad). Not everybody can be appointed as chief justice,” he added.

Duterte also apparently has not yet chosen Sereno’s replacement. He said he would consult groups like the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and other lawyers’ groups on his choice.

Asked if he has ruled out Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio, Duterte said his hands were tied because the magistrate had already said he would not accept the position.

“The guy has already said that he is not interested and he does not want the position. So ano man magawa ko (So what can I do)?” said Duterte.

“‘Pag ibigay ko, tapos sabi niya, ‘Sinabi ko na sa ‘yo, ayaw ko. Gago man pala Duterte na ito,'” he continued. (If I offer it to him, he’ll say, “I already said I don’t want it. This Duterte is a fool.”)

But it seems the President is likely to choose from the 5 names already recommended by the Judicial and Bar Council. He joked that he would allow a member of the media to choose from the 5. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.