- Chief justice claimed having turned down requests for favors from several presidents
- She said she’s made a lot of powerful enemies because she rejected their requests
- She also described accusations as silly administrative complaints made up by her foes
MANILA, Philippines – No friends in high places, just enemies. Lots of them.
Embattled Supreme Court Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno made this claim as she said she turned requests for favors from several powerful officials—including presidents and a senator.
“I turned down President A when he wanted this kind of appointment to be endorsed in the (Judicial and Bar Council). I turned down Senator Y when he wanted his candidate to be pushed. I turned down a former president who wanted a kind of decision to be in favor of that person. I made enemies with a former president because I did not yield to the legal theory that person wanted,” ABC-CBN quoted her as saying.
While she did not name names, Sereno said keeping the judiciary’s independence free from the influence of the powerful was one of the basic marks of her career as the top magistrate.
“In other words, my list is a list of resisting the importunings of the powerful,” she said. “So I do not have many friends in powerful places. Who would be friendly to a chief justice who keeps on saying ‘no’?”
Sereno also brushed off the charges being brought against her in the impeachment complaint filed by Atty. Larry Gadon, saying they were nothing more than ‘silly administrative complaints’ made up by her opponents who have resorted to making up stories against her.
“For seven years, my enemies have been tailing me; surveillance money being poured on me to try to destroy me. And this is what they have come up with: a hodge-podge of silly administrative complaints,” she said.