• Duterte lashes out at Chief Justice

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    President threatens Martial Law as Sereno demands warrants of arrest
    ESCALATING his rhetoric, President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to declare Martial Law as he lashed out at Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno for questioning his shame campaign against “narco-officials.”

    Speaking to the military in Cagayan de Oro City on Tuesday, Duterte went into an outburst over Sereno’s letter that branded as “premature” his call on judges allegedly involved in illegal drugs to surrender.

    Duterte chided Sereno for demanding that warrants of arrest be issued against the accused judges, arguing that it would take three to four months to secure warrants and that it would be impossible if this was also applied to the estimated 600,000 drug suspects.

    He reminded the Chief Justice that as President he had the mandate to protect the people.

    “You are the kingpin in the judiciary while I am an elected President,” he said.

    “The judges of the court do not conduct patrols and court sheriffs don’t arrest criminals. Do not order me kay dili ko gago (I am not an imbecile).”

    If Sereno insists, she risks a constitutional crisis as the Executive department will not follow all judicial orders, Duterte said.

    “Would you rather I declare martial law?” the President asked.

    Retired justice to conduct probe
    Amid Sereno’s concerns over Duterte’s methods, the Supreme Court on Tuesday appointed a retired associate justice to investigate four of seven judges linked by the President to the illegal drug trade.

    Former associate justice Roberto Abad was designated to investigate Judge Exequil Dagala of the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) of Dapa-Socorro, Surigao; Judge Adriano Savillo of Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 30 in Iloilo City; Judge Domingo Casiple of RTC Branch 7 in Kalibo, Aklan; and Judge Antonio Reyes of RTC Branch 61 in Baguio City, court spokesman Theodore Te said in a news conference.

    The high court directed Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea to submit complaint-affidavits against the four judges within seven days. The four judges in turn were directed to submit their answers within seven days upon receipt of copies of the documents to be submitted by Medialdea.

    Abad, 72, was given 30 days to make a recommendation to the Supreme Court en banc upon receipt of the answers of the four judges.

    The high court said the speech of President Duterte last Sunday was treated as complaint, because he accused judges of having links to illegal drug dealers and syndicates.

    Abad, an appointee of former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, was associate justice from August 7, 2009 to May 22, 2014.

    Duterte, in a speech last Sunday in Davao City, identified seven judges as having links to the drug trade. Of the seven, however, one is already dead, one was dismissed and another had retired.

    Sereno told Duterte on Monday that Lorenda Mupas was dismissed in 2007 as MTC judge of Dasmariñas, Cavite for gross ignorance of the law and misconduct. Roberto Navidad, formerly of RTC Branch 32, in Calbayog City, Samar, died on January 14, 2008 at the age of 69.

    Rene Gonzales, formerly of the MTC Branch 7 in Iloilo City, retired last June 20.

    Purge vowed
    In Davao City earlier on Tuesday, Duterte vowed to “purge” the government of officials involved in illegal drugs, and said barangay (village) chairmen, prosecutors and more policemen will be next in his shame campaign.

    “There will be a purge actually. Without declaring Martial law, I will cleanse this government … I will not allow under my watch, I will not allow the Philippine Republic to wilt just like a flower after a few days,” Duterte said in a news conference.

    Duterte began his shame campaign on July 5 by accusing five police generals of protecting illegal drug syndicates. On August 1, the President gave a “shoot-on-sight” order against a Leyte town mayor and his son, an alleged drug dealer, which forced the local official to turn himself in at Camp Crame.

    In the early hours of Sunday, Duterte read a list containing more than 150 names of mayors, congressmen, judges and uniformed personnel allegedly involved in illegal drugs. Interior and Local Government Secretary Ismael Sueno said Metro Manila mayors will also be next.

    Thirty policemen and 27 mayors named by Duterte showed up at Camp Crame on Monday to deny the accusation.

    On Tuesday, the President promised to make public a second list containing the names of more narco-officials.

    “There are many barangay (village) captains, police, and many more prosecutors coming in the list,” Duterte said.

    ‘Well-grounded’ list
    The President defended the list of narco-officials he read last Sunday as “well-grounded,” after it turned out that some people on the list had long been dead or dismissed from the government.

    Duterte admitted his list was dated, but said it had basis.

    “Well that’s the list, but that means historically that judge was involved … The military and police will not provide names of people whose reputation will be ruined,” the President said.

    An opposition lawmaker backed Sereno and said Duterte’s list was “useless” without court charges filed.

    Ifugao Rep. Teodoro Baguilat said Sereno’s statements were “very significant.”

    “I think that list is just full of hot bravado if you won’t really prosecute them, if you won’t follow through with the charges to be filed against these politicians, these judges, and these police personnel,” he told reporters.

    Baguilat also raised the question of who validated Duterte’s list of supposed drug protectors.

    ‘Bothered’
    On another front in the anti-drug war, Malacañang on Tuesday responded to concerns raised by the US State Department over the rising number of drug-related killings.

    The President is not pleased with the surge in extra-judicial killings of drug suspects, the Palace said.

    “I think he is very concerned. In fact, he is bothered and troubled,” presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a news conference.

    “President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has repeatedly expressed that he does not condone extra-judicial killings … he has also admitted that certain individuals may have been salvaged,” he said.

    The National Police Commission and Sueno have directed Philippine National Police chief Ronald de la Rosa to investigate the killings, he added.

    Elizabeth Trudeau, a State Department spokeswoman, on Monday said: “We believe in rule of law. We believe in due process. We believe in respect for universal human rights.”

    The death toll on the war against drugs has reached 915, with 557 suspects killed in police operations and 276 by unidentified assailants since Duterte won the election last May 10, based on a tally by ABS-CBN News.

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    13 Comments

    1. Mr. President, puro ka satsat. Nobody is stopping you to declare martial law except your conscience. Just do it. Make sure you are accountable for your deeds. Follow your idol the late former President/Dictator Marcos.

    2. I comment Serneo just keep her comment on the cases brought before the supreme court. Or review why getting an arrest warrant takes so much time! Make the process faster. And instead of the comment, she should have just concurred to investigate right away! we know that some but not all judges, police, etc has links with narco business due to greed. Defend the alleged accused when the investigation clears them!

      I believe there are basis for the allegations…otherwise those involved with coming up with the list have also reputation to protect….if not I think PDU30 will automatically go after those that prepared the reports….

    3. I remember the former US President Andrew Jackson of this kind of skirmishes between the executive and judicial branches of the US Govt in the late 19th century.

    4. US state dept. should mind their own business. You have so many killings in your own country. Worst part is that Police are being killed. In the Philippines, drug personalities are being killed, those positively identified by the police and community. Without the OA technicalities, these people are confirmed criminals. So far non has claimed of mis-identity. Every relative confirms that the person killed either once used drugs or sells drugs period. For those idiots saying what if we become the next victim? Very simple advise, don’t do drugs, stay away from it.

    5. ABS-CBN Tally! how come you don’t have a tally of those killed during Pnoy’s term? How many were raped? Killed by riding in tandem? tally of those victimized by tanim bala in NAIA? Tally for drug related killings? ABIAS-CBN TALAGA KAYO! Common sense, if you try to fight drugs which happens to be the number one menace of society, you cannot avoid killings, these people are armed and ready to kill and be killed.

    6. If we are to believe regarding what God tells us regarding our “physical life”, this is what is written in the Holy Bible:

      Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
      Romans 13:2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
      Romans 13:3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
      Romans 13:4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
      Romans 13:5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
      Romans 13:6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.
      Romans 13:7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

      Also read:

      1 Peter 2:13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;
      1 Peter 2:14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.
      1 Peter 2:15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:

      • Ignacio Balbutin on

        that’s right God is the one who placed Duterte in the position so lets just continue to pray for him, his enemies are multyplying by the day so let’s pray for his safety and God’s wisdom to be upon him to manage and bring our country to peace and prosperity

    7. Our Country is now in Eminent Danger, Why?

      Karamihan sa Narco-Officials na pinangalanan ni Presidente Duterte ay tutol o itinanggi na sila ay Protectors o Drug Lords. May possibility na magkaisa sila upang wasakin ang Administration ni Duterte, considering na may mga Officials both in Public and Private na gusto nila mabagsak ang goberno kay hindi nila gusto ang pamamaraan ni Duterte.

      Kung ganito, sangayon kami na ma declare ang “Martial Law” bago lumaki ang kakampi ng mga Dorogista.

    8. The Chief Justice could best take caution on where she threads at this point in time that a nationwide effort is being waged against the menace of drug abuse. Never in the political history of this country had there been a counter measure of this magnitude that has practically stemmed the root cause of widespread criminality and corruption.

      This must be the reason the majority of the national electorate chose a mere LGU elected official to the Presidency simply because he can deliver as compared to national stalwarts. Besides President Duterte has the experience as a criminal lawyer and an uncompromising local chief executive.

      This current Chief Justice had been merely elevated to this position owing to the graces of a discredited past national stewardship. Uncomparable!

    9. Ignacio Balbutin on

      The Supreme court should not complain about the list because those who are named can clear their names in the court if they are really innocent. I don’t believe the government will interfere with the affairs of the court so the court should not interfere with the affairs of the government. This war on drugs should continue until all the drug lords will be eliminated or put in prison. The President should not also consider martial law because it will surely destroy the economy of the country. Investors always run away where there is martial law.