Duterte urges 'fast-track' sacking of top judge | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 10, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, April 10, 2018

Duterte urges 'fast-track' sacking of top judge

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said yesterday lawmakers must "fast-track" the impeachment of the nation's top judge, further stacking the odds against her staying in office.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno is one of several high-profile critics who have found themselves in legal trouble after battling with Duterte over his deadly anti-drug crackdown.

"I'm putting you (Sereno) on notice that I am now your enemy and you have to be out of the Supreme Court," Duterte told reporters before flying to China for an economic forum.

"I held my temper before because she's a woman. This time I'm asking the congressmen and the Speaker: 'Do it now. Cut out the drama, or else I will do it for you'," he added.

A committee in the legislature's lower chamber the House of Representatives last month found "probable cause" to impeach Sereno, in a move which critics allege is part of wider efforts by Duterte to destroy foes and usher in one-man rule.

If lawmakers in the full House support the finding, Sereno would face a US-style impeachment trial in the Senate or upper house. Congress is currently in recess and is due to reconvene May 14.

The Supreme Court is set today to hear a separate petition to unseat Sereno from the country's highest tribunal.

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