Sereno to Duterte: Checks and balances 'very important' in democracy


Posted at Nov 20 2017 09:51 AM | Updated as of Nov 20 2017 11:59 AM

MANILA - Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno said she hoped President Rodrigo Duterte would understand the value of checks and balances in a democracy, even as she wished him success in his leadership.

A House of Representatives committee is hearing an impeachment complaint against Sereno over allegations she misdeclared her wealth. She was invited to a hearing on Wednesday.

"Does he have a hand in this impeachment? Well I go by his official pronouncement. I wish him success as a president but I hope he understands that checks and balances are very important for any democracy," Sereno said in an interview on ANC's Headstart aired on Monday.

Asked if she thought the President wanted her out, Sereno said: "The last statement that we had from the spokesperson is that I should leave my office. So I think I understand."

Sereno said she had "no personal skirmish at all" with Duterte and the only time the President made a remark against her was in August 2016 over her written request that judges linked to drugs be given due process.

"Everybody knows what he said at that moment. I think at one time he thought Atty Gadon's complaint about my extravagant lifestyle had some basis. Then he kept quiet about it," she said.

Sereno was referring to Lorezon Gadon, the private lawyer who filed the impeachment complaint against her.