The impeachment case against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno should proceed its course despite calls for her resignation, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said on Tuesday.
“We let it be from now on,” Roque said in a press briefing.
“The suggestion was made to resign so that the constitutional process will continue,” he added.
Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte shares his belief that Sereno should step down to reprieve the judiciary from “further damages.”
In response, the chief justice’s team said “resignation has never been an option” for Sereno.
Filed by lawyer Larry Gadon, Sereno is facing impeachment raps for alleged culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of public trust, corruption and other high crimes, by failing to reveal her existent assets and net worth, buying a luxurious car with public funds, and compelling judges to challenge the Duterte administration.
Voting 25-2, the House Committee on Justice earlier ruled that there are sufficient grounds to pursue the impeachment complaint filed against the chief justice. However, it has yet to be determined if there is probable cause to impeach the chief magistrate.
Roque added that Duterte will no longer have to file impeachment complaints against Sereno as well as Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales.
“He doesn’t really have to file an impeachment complaint against either because I think other individuals have done it for him, ‘no.” Roque quipped.
Meanwhile, members of non-governmental organizations Volunteers against Crime and Corruption (VACC) and Vanguards of the Philippine Constitution Inc. (VPC) said they are preparing to file impeachment protest against Morales.
“Henceforth, our position will be, let the process continue. Let the House take care of the impeachment and after that, we’ll see if it could reach the Senate,” Roque said.