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Duterte defied Sereno, not SC

12:01 AM August 30, 2016

“DU30 DEFIES Supreme Court” (Front Page, 8/10/16), thus an Inquirer headline blared.

I do not think Rodrigo Duterte, as president, defied the Supreme Court. What he defied was the partisan opinion of Maria Lourdes Sereno, who happens to be a member of the Supreme Court and sits as the chief justice.

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I understand that the President is pursuing his campaign promise to the Filipino people to cleanse the justice system, law enforcement agencies and the political sector of the corrupt and crooked. Why would we fault the President when he cites names on a “list” of corrupt public officials to satisfy public curiosity and in response to the media people’s demand?

My question: When Chief Justice Sereno spoke against President Duterte, was she speaking on behalf of the Supreme Court, or was she merely thinking out loud a personal opinion?

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I thought, no member of the Supreme Court, though he/she may be the chief justice or the most senior justice, may speak for the Court without its authority. I thought, the power of the Supreme Court to rule on the legality or constitutionality of any act, initiative or program or whatever is collective, not reposed in an individual or in one, single person whatever his/her rank or seniority?

The war against illegal drugs is not a walk in a garden of roses. But then, even roses, beautiful and pleasing as they are to the eyes, have thorns, too.

War is messy, chaotic and bloody. It’s like having to operate on a cancer patient to stop the deadly cells in his/her body from spreading; the surgical procedure is never without pain.

Criminal elements and organizations must be destroyed to keep our communities and our society safe, and to ensure that our children and their children, and their children’s children will enjoy the blessings of life and peace with a sense of security.

—BOB GABUNA, [email protected]

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TAGS: chief justice, letter, Letter to the Editor, Maria Lourdes Sereno, opinion, Rodrigo Duterte, Supreme Court
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