MANILA - Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Thursday afternoon accused her detractors of being funded by a "formidable machinery."
In a speech during the Women vs Strongman forum in the University of the Philippines- Diliman, Sereno cited the various attempts to remove her from office.
"It has been nearly eight months, this unceasing attack against my person and my office. Apparently funded by a formidable machinery, the complaint and its ever-expanding scope has attempted to hurl all kinds of charges against me,” Sereno said.
She continued: “Now, the complainant and his enablers are endeavoring to bring up imagined trespasses committed by me as early as when I was just 26 years old and starting my career here in UP. It’s a wonder they didn’t try to dig up my high school record.”
She warned of the consequences if attempts to remove her succeed.
"If all impeachment or resignation scheme succeeds, no one, not one man, especially not one woman, will be safe in this country. Everyone will have to look for political patron to save himself from incessant harassment, threats and bullying," she said,
Sereno said she is happy with the support she is receiving, especially with the filing of interventions by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and the Makabayan bloc, although she said she has yet to read them.
She also acknowledged the support she is getting from the judiciary.
"Many judges, many of them women, boldly demanded that their neutrality be respected and that judicial independence be upheld. They refused to join 20 judges who called for my resignation," she said.
Sereno was met by applause and chants of "CJ fight!" during her speech.
Asked how she feels about the support she's getting, she said "I think I should listen to them."
Sereno is facing impeachment proceedings at the House of Representatives and a petition at the Supreme Court seeking to nullify her appointment.
Both accuse her of failing to promptly declare her wealth, among others.