MANILA - Former President Benigno Aquino III said Monday the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno is probably a way to harass her and that it has been distracting her from work.
"Malamang," he said in response to reporters' question if Sereno was being harassed with the impeachment complaint filed by lawyer Lorenzo Gadon.
"At the very least medyo nadi-distract si Chief Justice. Maraming mga issue sa harap ng Supreme Court. Baka may darating pang ibang issue na matindi na sana naka-concentrate ang Korte Suprema sa pagju-judge judiciously," he said during the commemoration of the 85th birth anniversary of his father, Senator Ninoy Aquino, in Parañaque.
(At the very least, the Chief Justice is distracted. The Supreme Court is facing a lot of issues. There may be other pressing issues that would arise that the Court hopefully could concentrate on judging judiciously.)
Aquino said unlike the case of Sereno's predecessor, Renato Corona, who was removed from power during his term, Sereno's accuser has no personal knowledge in the allegations against her.
It was Aquino who appointed Sereno as Corona's successor in 2012.
Aquino said evidence against Corona came from the late chief justice himself that he did not declare his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth publicly and misdeclared his bank accounts.
An impeachment complaint is also looming against Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, who Aquino also appointed.
"Hindi kaya dapat may iba tayong dapat pagka-abalahan?," Aquino said of these moves.
(Shouldn't we be focused on other things?)
Asked if he is satisfied with the Duterte administration, Aquino said there are things being done that appear to be the reversal of his administration's point of view.
"Parang maraming bagay na tila baligtad sa pananaw namin. Sana ang pinagbabasehan nila mas tama sa pinag-basehan namin," he said.
(It seems there are a lot of things where we have opposing views. Hopefully they are basis is better than ours.)
As an example, Aquino questioned the administration's offer to a Chinese firm to be a telecommunications player, citing its implications to national security given a maritime dispute with Beijing.
"Mahirap naman yata yung communications infrastructure mo sa potential na baka magkaroon tayo ng actual na conflict," he said.
(It could be difficult if your communications infrastructure is connected to a country where we have potential conflict). - With reports from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News