- House Speaker dared SC chief justice to face her accusers in Congress
- He said she shouldn’t be afraid to face them if she has a clean conscience
- He also said she should just resign if she really is hiding something to avoid a public spectacle
MANILA, Philippines – Face the music, or resign.
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez had this to say to Supreme Court Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno amid the House justice committee’s deliberation of the impeachment complaint filed against her.
Alvarez, a staunch ally of President Rodrigo Duterte, said the chief magistrate should not be afraid of facing either the committee or her accusers if she really has a clean conscience. Otherwise, she should resign instead to avoid a public spectacle.
“Kung ako, kung alam kong inosente ako sa charges at kaya kong panindigan ‘yan, e haharap ako sa impeachment court, haharap ako sa committee. Pero kung medyo alanganin ka at alam mong marami ka ring tinatago e nasa sa ’yo na yan, mag-resign ka na lang,” he told the Philippine Daily Inquirer. “Kung may tinatago, e kung ayaw mong masiwalat e mag resign ka. Kasi hindi biro yan. Yung bituka mo dyan lalabas.”
[If it’s me, if I know that I’m innocent of the charges and I can stand on it, I would face the impeachment court and the committee. But if I’m at a disadvantage and I know I’m hiding many things then it’s up to you, you should just resign. If you’re hiding something, you should just resign if you don’t it exposed. Because it’s not a joke. Your intestines will spill out.]
Alvarez also questioned the appearance of Sereno’s lawyers on her behalf during the hearings; saying it is proof that the chief justice herself did not have the fortitude to face her accusers.
“Hindi naman ‘yung abogado ‘yung akusado dito, siya (Sereno). Eh bakit siya takot humarap?” he said. “Ibig sabihin wala siyang ganung katibay na loob at konsensya para harapin niya ‘yung mga accusers niya.”
[It’s not her lawyers who are the accused, it’s her. So why is she afraid of facing them? That means she does not have the fortitude and conscience to face her accusers.]