Duterte to Sereno: I am now your enemy

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 9) — President Rodrigo Duterte did not mince words with embattled Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, declaring her his enemy.

"I am putting you on notice that I am now your enemy, and you have to be out of the Supreme Court," Duterte told the media Monday after his departure speech before flying to China for the Boao Forum.

READ: Sereno camp blasts 'coordinated efforts' to malign Chief Justice

This follows Sereno's earlier remark questioning why Solicitor General Jose Calida filed the quo warranto petition in a move to unseat her.

She also alleged that Duterte was behind the move.

"Sinabi ko na kay Chief Justice Sereno, I am not into the habit of maghabol ng kalaban. I have no history on that," Duterte said.

[Translation: I already told Chief Justice Sereno, I am not into the habit of going after my enemies. I have no history on that.]

READ: Sereno: If they can do this me, who is safe in this country?

However, Duterte was irked at the chief magistrate's insistence that he was behind the ouster petition.

"Ikaw Sereno, sinabi ko na sa'yo, hindi ako nakialam. If you are insisting then count me in, and I will egg Calida to do his best. Ako na mismo ang maglakad rin, kalaban sa'yo," Duterte said.

[Translation: Sereno, I already told you that I don't meddle. If you are insisting, then count me in, and I will egg Calida to do his best. I will handle this myself, against you.]

He also called on House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and the other congressmen to fast-track the impeachment proceedings against Sereno.

"She is bad for the Philippines...I am asking Congress, what's taking you too long? I will not hesitate to do what is to the best of my country. If it calls for your forced removal, I will do it," he said.

Calida in his quo warranto petition said Sereno has been "unlawfully holding" her post since she failed to submit her Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth for 10 years before she applied for Chief Justice in 2012.

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

The Chief Justice earlier confirmed she will attend the Supreme Court en banc session on the ouster petition on April 10.

Fast-tracking the impeachment case

The House Justice Committee has approved the articles of impeachment against Sereno on March 19.

Sereno faces removal from office for allegedly violating the Constitution, corruption, betrayal of public trust and other high crimes, which are grounds for impeachment under the Constitution.

The House plenary has 60 session days after the submission to tackle and vote on the articles of impeachment.

READ: SALN violations top articles of impeachment against Sereno

"It will be done once we resume our session," Alvarez said of Sereno's impeachment. 

Congress will resume session on May 15.

"It will be done once we resume sessions. Hindi lang yan umabot nung nagbreak kami. I understand, based doon sa report ng Chairman on Committee on Justice, napakatibay po ng ebidensya para dalhin ito sa Impeachment Court," Alvarez said.

[Translation: I understand that based on the report of the committee chair, there is strong evidence to bring the case before an impeachment court.]

The House Speaker has repeatedly said he expects congressmen to impeach Sereno because the committee has come up with an airtight case.

He also said the President's statement declaring Sereno as his enemy would result to even more congressmen voting for Sereno's ouster.

If at least one-third of the members of the House of Representatives vote to impeach Sereno, the complaint would go to trial at the Senate.

The Senate, convening as an impeachment court, will need a two-thirds vote or 16 of 23 senators to convict the Chief Justice.