Ousted Philippines Supreme Court chief justice lashes out at Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte
President Rodrigo Duterte

The ousted chief justice of the Philippines’ Supreme Court on Tuesday lashed out at President Rodrigo Duterte, calling him a “self-styled saviour who is willing to kill.”

Maria Sereno, the first woman to head the judiciary, vowed to fight against alleged abuses and “viciousness” of the Duterte administration after losing her appeal against her removal on May 11.

Sereno accused Duterte and his allies of crushing the morale of Filipinos and “verbally and physically brutralising” the Filipino spirit.

“The propagandists would have us pin our hopes on one man: a blasphemous, self-styled saviour who is willing to kill, someone who has unabashedly said he can replace Satan in might and monstrosity.

“We are fighting against the viciousness the president has unleashed against the poor, the women, the religious, the indigenous people], the workers, whom he has directly or indirectly branded as his enemies,’’ she added.

Sereno issued the tirade after the high tribunal denied her motion for reconsideration of its decision that she was unqualified to be chief justice because she failed to declare all her financial assets when she was appointed in August 2010.

“The Supreme Court voted 8-6 on Tuesday to deny her appeal, making her removal final,’’ Attorney Theodore Te, the tribunal’s spokesman said.

Te said the 90-day period for Duterte to appoint a new chief justice starts on Tuesday.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said Duterte would have to wait for the nominees of the Judicial and Bar Council to appoint Sereno’s replacement.

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