MANILA (UPDATE) - President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday welcomed the possible senatorial bid of ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
"O 'di maganda, palit siya from chief justice to senator. Maganda, botohin ninyo para samot gyud mo’g ka dive. (So that you will further be…). With that kind of behavior, De Lima pati si (and) Sereno. She wasted the prestige of the Chief Justice. Sayang. Not everybody can be appointed as Chief Justice. It’s a gift from my God as I conceive him to be," Duterte told reporters in Panglao, Bohol.
(That's good, she will become a senator after being chief justice. That's good, vote for her.)
Duterte remained mum on his preference for the next top magistrate.
"It would depend on the recommendation of people. I have to consult not only the justices themselves but also the law profession, IBP (Integrated Bar of the Philippines) and Philippine Constitution Association and others," he said.
"And I will consult here Atty. (Victor) dela Serna, iyung professor ko sa criminal law. Kaya mahusay ang pagkaturo niya sa'kin, naging criminal ako nang kaunti," he said in jest.
(I will consult Atty. Victor dela Serna, my criminal law professor. He taught me well, I somewhat became a criminal.)
Duterte earlier said he will not choose a woman for the position.
Sereno, the Philippines' first female chief justice, was ousted last May 11 by her peers with a vote of 8-6 in an unprecedented grant of Calida's "quo warranto" plea.