Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Friday accepted the apology of President Rodrigo Duterte, ending a spat triggered by the release of a list of officials involved in the illegal drug trade, including judges.
“The Chief Justice appreciates the President’s latest remarks. As previously announced, she would no longer say anything on this matter,” a statement read by Supreme Court Spokesman Theodore Te said.
Duterte issued an apology Thursday night.
“I apologize to the Chief Justice for the harsh words. It was never intended,” the President said at a news conference in Davao City.
“But because of the magnitude of the problem, it was my way of solving the problem within the ambit of my powers as president,” he added.
True to her word that she will no longer issue any statement on the matter, Sereno sent Te to relay her brief message to reporters yesterday.
Duterte was incensed by the Chief Justice’s remarks early this week that charges should first be filed against the judges allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade before they are asked to surrender.
The President named 158 local government officials, judges, police officers and lawmakers linked to drugs.
“I’m giving you a warning. Don’t create a crisis because I will order everybody in the executive department not to honor you,” Duterte told Sereno.
“Don’t order me. I’m not a fool. Or would you rather I declare martial law?” he added.
The President reiterated that it’s his job as Chief Executive to inform the public of problems “so they may avoid harm and danger.”
After Duterte’s outburst, Sereno chose to keep mum so as not to prolong the “word” war.
“Many things have been said. The Chief Justice sees no need to add to what are being said,” Supreme Court spokesman Theodore Te said Thursday.
With Catherine Valente