Sereno reveals offers to meet with Duterte over ouster case

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President Rodrigo Duterte and former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 12) — Following her ouster Friday, former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno disclosed there were efforts to let her talk to President Rodrigo Duterte about her case before Supreme Court.

Voting 8-6, the Supreme Court Justices voted to remove Sereno from office based on the quo warranto case questioning her qualifications filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida, an appointee of Duterte.

READ: SolGen: Chief Justice Sereno 'unlawfully holding position'

"May mga ideya na po na ganyan na parang ang sinasabi nila ang solusyon sa problema ninyo ay isang pakikipag-usap o pagbabati," Sereno said during a press conference in the Manila Hotel yesterday, when asked if she ever entertained the idea of talking to the President.

[Translation: People have approached me with that idea, saying that the solution to my problem is to talk and make amends. ]

Sereno, however, said doing so would have compromised her ideals and independence.

"Hindi ako nag-kompromiso, nanindigan ako sa tama," Sereno said. "Masasabi ko ng buong katapatan, sa lahat huwes na nakakakilala sa akin, sa lahat ng kawani ng hudikatura, hindi ako nag-kompromiso ng aking indipendyensya ni minsan po."

[Translation: I never compromised, I stood up for what is right. I can say with all honesty to all the judges who I have met, to all the representatives of the Judiciary, that I have never compromised my independence, not even once.]

Sereno also said she does not fear the powerful.

"Kahit sino pang makapangyarihan ang tumawag sa iyo, manindigan ka sa iyong paniniwalang tama. At huwag na huwag kang papatakot," the former Chief Justice said.

[Translation: No matter how powerful that person is, you should stand up for what you believe is right. And never give into fear.]

The President had previously called the former magistrate his "enemy," after she claimed Duterte was behind the quo warranto petition.

"I am putting you on notice that I am now your enemy, and you have to be out of the Supreme Court," Duterte said last April.

READ: Duterte to Sereno: I am now your enemy

Sereno still believes Duterte was behind her ouster, adding that he could have stopped the proceedings if he wanted to.

READ: Sereno: Duterte could have stopped ouster

"It's time already for people to stop quibbling about many things," Sereno said. "If he did not want it, it could have ended. But it did not end."

While Sereno did not personally call for any rallies or protest as a result of the Supreme Court decision, she again publicly voiced opposition against those who abuse power.

"When politicians who have short sights and very personalistic and selfish agendas are the ones dominating our country, then our country is in a very difficult spot," the former chief justice said, adding that the people should stop relying on one personality to solve all the nation's ills.

Sereno is the first Chief Justice to be removed from her position without Senate trial.

She has 15 days to appeal the high court's ruling, with her camp saying it will likely file a motion for reconsideration.

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines is also set to file a separate appeal to overturn the ruling.