Feel free to ask around: Duterte denies hand in Sereno impeachment

  • President denied being involved in SC Chief Justice’s impeachment case
  • He told her to ask around, have journalists investigate whether he had a hand or not

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has denied Supreme Court Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno’s insinuation he’s behind her impeachment; saying she is free to ask around if she wanted.

“She can ask anybody, I guarantee you. I’ll make a guarantee, magtanong siya diyan kung may nilapitan ako na sinasabi ko, ‘Impeach n’yo si Sereno,’” the Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted him as saying.

[She can ask anybody, I guarantee you. I’ll make a guarantee, she can ask if I’ve approached anyone and told them, ‘Impeach Sereno.’]

Duterte, who has locked horns with Sereno over several national issues, also told the country’s top magistrate she could hire journalists to uncover the truth behind her case.

“Ma’am Sereno, I’m sorry to tell you and you can investigate the whole town and i-commission mo lahat ng mga journalists who are good at investigative journalism kung may kinausap ako na tao about your impeachment,” he said.

[Ma’am Sereno, I’m sorry to tell you and you can investigate the whole town commission all the journalists who are good at investigative journalism to find out if I’ve talked to any person about your impeachment.]

Sereno earlier hinted at Duterte’s involvement after questioning the timing of Atty. Larry Gadon’s filing and his call for both her and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales to resign.

“That is, of course everybody knows what he said during those moments and the I think at one time, he thought that the Attorney Gadon’s complaints regarding my extravagant lifestyle had some basis and then he kept quiet about it so let us just say that I understand that he has also asked me and the Ombudsman to resign at the same time,” she said. “So does he have a hand in this impeachment, well I go by his official pronouncement and I wish him success as a President but I hope he understands that checks and balances are very, very important for any democracy.”

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