Go to hell, you’re not special! Duterte lashes out at UN rapporteur bothered by Sereno’s ouster
President Rodrigo Duterte has told a United Nations (UN) human rights expert to “go to hell” for linking him to the ouster of former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
In a press conference before leaving for South Korea Saturday (June 2), Duterte slammed UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers Diego García-Sayán for allegedly meddling in Philippine affairs.
“He is not a special person. And I do not recognize his rapporteur title. Tell him not to interfere with the affairs of my country. He can go to hell. Sabihin mo. P***. Nakikialam siya,” he said when sought for reaction on García-Sayán’s statement.
Duterte said Sereno’s ouster is an “internal problem” that foreigners should not meddle with. He insisted he did not have a hand in the quo warranto petition filed against the former Chief Justice.
“Calida is doing it because he’s an Ilocano. He’s hurt because of ‘yung denial sa burial ni Marcos. Akala niya nakikialam ako,” the President said, referring to Solicitor General Jose Calida, who filed the case against Sereno.
“Ako naman, following the law, you’re a solider and a president. So ano ko… And they were criticizing me left and right. Eh sabi ko, but that’s the law. What can I do?” Duterte added.
In a statement, Garcia-Sayan noted that the Supreme Court removed Sereno from office two days after Duterte declared himself as her “enemy” and urged her to resign.
“The unprecedented decision of the Supreme Court of the Philippines seems directly related to the threats made against the Chief Justice in relation to her professional activities in defence of the independence of the judiciary,” he said.
Voting 8-6, the Supreme Court on May 11 granted the quo warranto petition which sought to invalidate Sereno’s appointment as Chief Justice in 2012 due to her failure to submit all of her Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALNs) to the Judicial and Bar Council, which screened applicants to the post.
Duterte said he will resign if proven that he talked to any lawmaker about Sereno’s impeachment, which was pending in the House of Representatives before the Supreme Court ousted her.