What the President said | Inquirer Opinion

What the President said

/ 05:12 AM May 21, 2018

President Duterte had told Malacañang reporters regarding his  involvement in the ouster moves against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno: “If there’s one congresswoman or congressman or a single justice who will say I talked to them, I can guarantee you I will resign” (Inquirer.net, 5/17/18).

Well, Mr. President, what are you waiting for? Not a single congresswoman, congressman or justice will dare say you talked to them; but you have proven you were behind the removal of the chief magistrate from office based on your own statements.

The report “If Duterte doesn’t know, why is ouster petitioner SolGen?—Sereno” (Inquirer.net, 4/19/18) quoted Sereno’s statement:


“Mr. President, kung sinabi mong wala kang kinalaman dito, pakipaliwanag po bakit si SolGen Calida (Solicitor General Jose Calida) na nagre-report sa ’yo ang nag-file ng quo warranto?” (Mr. President, if as you said you have no hand in this [ouster move], please explain why SolGen Calida, who reports to you, filed the quo warranto?)


On the same day, President Duterte angrily lashed back at Sereno and this was given more space by the national media than Sereno’s statement.

In the report “Duterte declares war vs Sereno” (Inquirer.net, 4/9/18),  most telling was Mr. Duterte’s response to Sereno’s question.

“President Rodrigo Duterte […] vowed to take the necessary steps  to boot Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno out of the Supreme Court.

“I’m putting you on notice that I’m your enemy and you have to be out of the Supreme Court. I will see to it and after that, I will request Congress go into the impeachment right away.

“I would ask Speaker Alvarez now, kindly fast-track the impeachment. She is bad for the Philippines. Now this time, I’m asking the congressmen and the Speaker, ‘Do it now. Huwag ninyong dramahin (Don’t add drama to it). Or else, I will do it for you.’

“Ikaw Sereno, sinabi ko na sa ’yo hindi ako nakialam (I’m telling you, Sereno, that I didn’t meddle). If you are insisting, then count me in. Count me in and I will egg Calida to do his best. Ako na mismo ang maglakad, [ka]kalaban sa’yo (I will be the one to do it, I’ll fight you).”


In its reports on April 9, ABS-CBN covered the same statements: “Duterte to Sereno: I am now your enemy” and “‘Upakan kita’: Duterte, Sereno, nagsagutan.”

The second report quoted Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez’s response: “Yes, it will be done once we resume sessions.”

Mr. President, unless you or your apologists can prove your quotes from the above reports as “fake news,” you have declared before the entire nation the “proof” you are demanding.

Will you fulfill now your “guarantee” and “vow”? The people and the world will judge you by your words, as much as your deeds or more.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

PATRICIO P. DIAZ, [email protected]

TAGS: Inquirer letters, Jose Calida, Maria Lourdes Sereno, Patricio P. Diaz, quo warranto petition, Rodrigo Duterte, Sereno impeachment, Supreme Court

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.