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Duterte wants Sereno to resign: Staying until 2030 too long for an ‘ignorant’ Chief Justice

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President Rodrigo Duterte has advised Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to resign, saying she does not deserve her position.

In a press briefing Friday (April 13) after arriving from Hong Kong, Duterte called Sereno “ignorant” for cautioning the public against submitting to warrantless arrests at the height of the administration’s bloody war on drugs.

“Eh kung walang warrant, if there is a crime committed in the presence of the military and the police, bakit? Magpo-produce ba siya ng warrant galing sa’yo? Kaya sabi ko torpe ka, that’s why should not be there,” he said.

Duterte lashed out at Sereno for her supposed ignorance of the law, saying even bar flunkers know that warrantless arrests are legal if a crime is happening in one’s view.

While Duterte clarified that his order earlier this week for the House of Representatives to fast-track the impeachment proceedings against Sereno was directed at his party mates from PDP-Laban, he said it will be better for the Chief Justice to resign.

“If you are that ignorant, you better go. You are just risking the country into a chaos. Umalis ka na. Tsaka hindi ka dapat diyan talaga in the first place. And that term of yours — until what? 2030? That’s — that’s too long for an ignorant Chief Justice,” he said.

“Tama na ‘yan. Give way. If I were you, I will resign,” he added.

Barring removal from office, Sereno’s term will end in 2030 when she reaches the mandatory retirement age in the judiciary of 70.