'You are my enemy' - Duterte urges speedy impeachment of Chief Justice


Makabayan bloc lawmakers has asked the Supreme Court (SC) to allow them to intervene in the quo warranto petition filed against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

"I'm putting you on notice that I'm your enemy and have to be out of the Supreme Court", a seething Duterte told Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno in a press conference he held at the global airport in his hometown of Davao City in Mindanao before flying to China to attend an worldwide conference.

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate warned that the President's verbal attack against Sereno might just be a "smokescreen" for the impending removal of Sereno through the "unconstitutional" quo warranto petition.

Dozens of her supporters, holding streamers and denouncing some of the judges, held a protest outside the court.

Davide said that the judiciary's "First Calvary" was when Sereno asserted her defense of its independence when the executive department tried to interfere in the matter of disciplining judges.

Sereno and Duterte also clashed over the decision to bury the dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani and the implementation of Martial Law in Mindanao during the Marawi crisis.

Experts explained that a quo warranto petition is a legal move which questions that qualifications of a person to hold an official position in government which could lead to the ouster of that person.

Within a few hours a furious Duterte lashed out at Sereno and indicated he was ready to use his influence over the legislature to get rid of her.

"I'm putting you [Sereno] on notice that I am now your enemy and you have to be out of the Supreme Court", he was quoted by Philstar on Monday, calling on House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to "kindly fast-track the impeachment" of Sereno.

"I will see to it and after that, I will request Congress to go with the impeachment right away", he added.

The almost 300-seat house returns from a recess next month and will convene for a plenary vote on the impeachment complaint, which accuses Sereno of failure to fully declare her earnings.

Through her spokesperson lawyer Josa Deinla, Sereno said she will attend tomorrow's oral argument that would start at 2 p.m.

Earlier, the powerful House Committee on Justice, dominated by Duterte allies, approved its report seeking the impeachment of Sereno and immediately referred it to the plenary for approval.