San Beda lawyer: "Sereno got creamed" in BBC' Sackur interview - The Daily Sentry

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

San Beda lawyer: "Sereno got creamed" in BBC' Sackur interview

San Beda lawyer: "Sereno got creamed" in BBC' Sackur interview
BBC's Stephen Sackur and ousted Lourdes Sereno, photo from Pinoy Thinking
San Beda Alabang lawyer and vocal President Rodrigo Duterte supporter Atty. Bruce Rivera in his Facebook account, said that ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno was "creamed" in her recent interview with BBC's Hardtalk with BBC's Stephen Sackur.

He said that he did not finish watching the 24-minute video of the interview which spread online because Sereno was "floored by the questions".

Sereno in the interview highlighted her alleged denial of due process in the removal and said that the Philippines' democracy hangs in the balance.

Sereno deemed that President Rodrigo Duterte was attacking several democratic institutions in the Philippines.

Sackur said, "You clearly did not always stray away from politics, I'm just looking at several public pronouncements you made after Mr. Aquino was replaced by Duterte. Announcements and public comments which many in the Philippines took as directly attacking President Rodrigo Duterte and his policies," he cited how Sereno made public comments on the actions of Duterte such as his implication of several justices in the judiciary of being involved in the drug trade.

"It's not a political statement at all," Serenos said, adding that she as chief justice was only upholding her duty to protect the independence of the judiciary.

Rivera noted how Sereno corrected the interviewee.

"Stephen Sackur even stated, Duterte was elected by a thumping majority and you are just an appointed magistrate”. Sereno said, “Duterte was elected by a plurality and not a majority”. Ako ang napaaray. She knows it is virtually impossible to get elected by a majority so to degrade PRD’s victory to make it less significant actually started Sackur’s antagonism," he said.

Rivera noted Sackurs questions in the interview such as making Sereneo explain how eight of the SC's justices lost confidence in her.

To this Sereno replied in the interview that five of the eight justices testified against her, and thus should have been inhibited from the proceeding. six said she cannot be removed except by an impeachment proceeding.

"Sackur also said, is it unusual that you said you filed your SALN but you actually did not, is that normal? Sereno said it is. Aray ko ulit," Rivera said.

In the interview, Sereno cited a case in jurisprudence, but Sackur interrupted her saying that the statement was highly detailed and proceeded to another question.

"Sackur said, there have been allegations of your lavish life, you had your car changed because it was not grand enough, traveled in class and stayed in expensive hotels. Sereno answered that she was entitled to the car like the President, the rigors of her work justifies she travels that way and the only hotel she stayed that was expensive was when she signed the ASEAN Accord and it was already paid for and the government got a good rate because it was a block reservation. Sackur answered back, I am sure the Filipino people will be so happy you got a good price on the hotel," Rivera said.

"The rules say that whatever security vehicle the president is entitled to, I am entitled to. It got full court approval." Sereno said.

"Of course business travels is the rigor for someone who is entitled to the same, because my position is considered as one of the five highest positions in the country," she added.

"The rest, I could not finish. Nahiya ako. A person who was once our Chief Justice can just be “creamed” on international TV and she could not even make a decent rebuttal," he said.

After the questions he cited, Sereno was asked what she was gonna do if the SC upholds their decision, Sereno skips answering it and states how democracy is important, and that the issue is more than just her job, but is about being a voice of a democracy, and that the rules have been observed.

"I think the fight for our country's constitutional right more important than just a position."

Sackur asked, "Are you now looking to become a leader of the opposition yourself?"

To which the former CJ said, "Thats  a very difficult question that must be answered only when a correct process has been sufficiently followed and by this is see the root of  our problems as the inability to empower the little people."

"I am not about to characterize myself as a politician, as an opposition leader, what I understand is that right now my present role is that there is a voice that must be heard, people are asking asking me to speak for them, and whether I am retained or removed as chief justice, that mission for justice must continue," she added.

Sereno’s motion for reconsideration for the decision on the quo warranto proceeding is still pending in the highest tribunal.

Source: Atty. Bruce Rivera