JUSTICE Ma. Lourdes Sereno doesn’t want to engage President Duterte in a verbal war anymore over the maverick leader’s list implicating judges in the illegal drugs trade.
“Many things have been said, the Chief Justice sees no need to add to what are being said,” Sereno said through Supreme Court spokesman Theodore Te.
The already volatile situation between the two leaders came to boiling point when the SC ordered Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea to submit formal complaint-affidavits against the four judges within seven days and furnishing the judges with a copy of the complaint.
An irked President Duterte lambasted Sereno. He even threatened to declare martial law if Sereno continues to block his efforts to address the country’s problem on illegal drugs.
“If this continues, pigilan mo ako eh ‘di sige ‘pag nagwala na, or would you rather I declare martial law? Pinapatay ang Pilipino. I grieve for so many women raped, men killed, infants raped tapos ipitin mo ako,” Duterte said.
In a resolution issued on Tuesday, the Court ordered a fact-finding investigation into the alleged involvement of four incumbent judges in the country’s illegal drugs trade.
Sereno earlier said only four out of the seven judges in the “war on drugs” list are still active.
They are Judge Exequil Dagala of the MTC, Dapa-Socorro, Surigao; Judge Adriano Savillo, RTC, Branch 30, Iloilo City; Judge Domingo Casiple, RTC, Branch 7, Kalibo, Aklan and Judge Antonio Reyes, RTC, Branch 61, Baguio City, Benguet.
The Court directed the four judges to submit their answer to the complaint within one day from receipt of the complaint-affidavit.
Associate Justice Roberto Abad was appointed by the Court to conduct the investigation and submit his recommendation to the SC en banc within 30 days.