As impeachment looms, Sereno says 'God's plan will prevail'

Trishia Billones, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 30 2017 01:09 PM | Updated as of Nov 30 2017 01:24 PM

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MANILA - Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Thursday expressed confidence that God's will shall prevail as she faces an impeachment complaint at the House of Representatives.

Sereno is accused of falsifying Supreme Court resolutions, leading a lavish lifestyle, and misdeclaring her wealth, among others.

"I’m sure as the sun rises from the east and sets on the west that God’s plan will prevail," she said in a speech after a mass was held for her at UP Diliman. The gathering happened a day after her colleague, Associate Justice Teresita De Castro, testified before the House justice committee.

Sereno also quoted a line from the Bible, said by Jesus and his apostles Paul and Peter, that read: "Rejoice. Count it all joy when you fall into various trials."

"Indeed, I have seen with my own eyes how the Lord superintends everything so that the lies are uncovered, the truth is revealed, people are taking more courage and there is unity among our brethren at last," she said.

"There is an awakening in the Church and among our ordinary citizens," she added.

She thanked her supporters, who she said gave her strength to stand up and perform her duties as the country's top magistrate and guard justice and the judiciary's independence.

"Tuwang tuwa ako na ang isang taong maninindigan para sa katotohanan ay makakaabot sa puso ng bawat pamilyang Pilipino upang maka-identify sila na kung tayo ay naninidigan para sa katotohanan, hindi naman dapat inaapi sapagkat ang katotohanan ay dapat dinidinig at hindi pinagtatakluban ng mga kasinungalingan," she said.

She said she sees the ongoing impeachment proceedings against her as an opportunity to have a "grand vision for our future" and to be able to up the level of discourse in the country.

"Kaysa sa kasinungalingan, pag-usapan natin ang katotohanan. Ano ba ang ibig sabihin ng accountability? Ano ang ibig sabihin ng independence of the judiciary? Ano ang ibig sabihin ng separation of powers, at ano ang ibig sabihin ng demokrasya?," she said.

Sereno said the 1987 Constitution is unique as it is the only constitution that talks about love as national objective, as she reiterated that her current battle is also a fight for the Constitution and the Filipino people.

"Ang gusto natin na bansa ay isang bansa na pinangungunahan at pinagtitibay ng pagmamahal. Kaya hindi maaari na ang truth, justice, righteousness na standards sa ating Constitution ay hindi sinusundan ngayon," she said.

"Yung panindigan ko po sa aking pinagdadaanan ngayon ay isa na ring panindigan para sa taongbayan at sa Konstitusyon."