Colmenares: Solve impunity by not electing another Duterte

MANILA, Philippines – Opposition senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares said on Friday, April 12, the solution to impunity in the Philippines is for Filipinos to ensure the country will not vote for another Rodrigo Duterte in the future.

Colmenares, during a townhall-style forum of lawyer senatoriables on Friday, said impunity happens because of Duterte.

“Ang isang magagawa natin dyan is not me becoming a senator, it’s by the Filipino people themselves [choosing] that no future president shall have the gall to threaten and attack the judiciary because that infringes not only on their independence but in the entire justice system as well, wala na pong duterte in the future dapat,” said Colmenares.

(What we can do to fix it is not by me becoming a senator, it’s by the Filipino people themselves [choosing] that no future president shall have the gall to threaten and attack the judiciary because that infringes not only on their independence but in the entire justice system as well. There should be no more Duterte in the future.) 

Colmenares accused Duterte of pressuring the judiciary, taking as an example the ouster of former chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno in the unprecedented mode of quo warranto.

“Napaka-klaro ng mga kaso po, but President Duterte makes sure na ang judiciary ay takot sa kanya,” Colmenares said.

(The cases are clear, but President Duterte makes sure that the judiciary is afraid of him.)

Colmenares was speaking at the lawyer senatoriable forum organized by the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) attended by only 6 candidates out of the 22 lawyers running for senator.

Other attendees were Chel Diokno and Erin Tañada of Otso Diretso; Sonny Matula and Ernesto Arellano of Labor Win and independent candidate Joan Sheelah Nalliw.

Administration bets like Senator Koko Pimentel, a Bar topnotcher, sent his regrets early according to NUPL president Edre Olalia, citing a prior commitment. PDP-Laban and Duterte’s handpicked candidates, the so-called MaBaGoKoTo, is in Marawi on Friday for a sortie.

Other lawyers from administration slates are reelectionist Senator Sonny Angara, former senator Pia Cayetano and former Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Francis Tolentino.

Otso Diretso’s Florin Hilbay, a former solicitor general, could not attend due to a commitment in Mindanao, while Romulo Macalintal said he also had an out-of-town commitment. – Rappler.com

Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email lian.buan@rappler.com or tweet @lianbuan.

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