Sereno: Constitution is 'north star' to Armed Forces


Posted at Sep 12 2018 03:41 PM | Updated as of Sep 12 2018 04:04 PM

MANILA -- The military should be guided by the Constitution and look "beyond" the term of President Rodrigo Duterte, who voided amnesty for a former military rebel-turned lawmaker, former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno said Wednesday.

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, Duterte's most vocal critic, has been holed up in his office for over a week, after the President voided his amnesty over failed military uprisings in 2003 and 2007.

"Remember that the Constitution is its north star, that they are, by the terms of the Constitution, the protector of the people," Sereno said after visiting Trillanes

"The Armed Forces of the Philippines must remember to look beyond the term of this President," Sereno told reporters after visiting Trillanes.

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday denied Trillanes plea for an injunction against Duterte's move and instead remanded the case to a Makati City court.

"I do not think that the AFP will turn its back on the people. I do not think that the AFP will allow itself to be used by political self-interest. The AFP knows that it is not the tool of any politician," Sereno said.


Sereno, who clashed with Duterte before she was removed in an unprecedented "quo warranto" proceedings, blasted the President for taking credit for the salary increase of law enforcers.

"He is basically saying that those benefits come from him. No, Mr. President, those allowances and salary increases come not from you. They do not come from any politician. They come from hard-earned taxpayers' money," Sereno said.

Duterte, in criticizing Trillanes over the weekend, said the former Navy lieutenant made the military believe he was concerned about soldiers' welfare but did nothing for them. 

"Ako wala ako, isang beses lang ako nagsabi, kampanya. 'I will double your salary.' Period. Takdang panahon ibinigay ko. Siya, military siya. Malapit siya kay Aquino. Nandiyan si Voltz," he added, referring to soldiers' pay hike.

(Me, I just said it once during the campaign. 'I will double your salary.' Period. At the right time, I gave that. He was in the military. He was close to (former President Benigno Aquino III). Voltz (former Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin) was there.)

"I hope he does not come to the point where he says the taxpayers' money is his as well," Sereno said.