'Fight for democracy,' Robredo says after SC upholds Sereno ouster

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 19 2018 03:59 PM

Vice President Leni Robredo salutes the statue of Dr. Jose Rizal during a wreath laying ceremony in celebration of the 120th Independence Day at Rizal Park in Manila on Tuesday. Noel Celis, Agence France-Presse

MANILA -- Vice President Leni Robredo on Tuesday urged Filipinos to "fight for democracy" as the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the ouster of its former head signaled a "dark moment" for the country.

Robredo said "rage and grief" over the removal of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno was "warranted."

"But in our rage and grief, we cannot give in to despair, for this is but one of the many battles that we must fight for our democracy, and for the people it is intended to serve," Robredo said.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday affirmed its unprecedented May 11 ruling that she should be removed from office for failing to fully disclose her net worth when she applied for the chief justice position in 2012.

"We must stand firm for a nation where law is an instrument for achieving fairness and justice, and not a weapon for justifying spite and legitimizing oppression," Robredo said.

"We must commit ourselves to defend what remains of our democracy, and to rebuild what has been cast down," she said.

Robredo called for vigilance in the face of "impending assaults" on the Constitution and freedoms.

"Whether these involve uncontested encroachments against our sovereignty, the unchecked plunder of public coffers, the calculated stifling of the voice of the sovereign people, or the brazen taking of lives and livelihood, we must draw the line and do our utmost to defend it," she said.