- Malacanang assures that Pres. Rodrigo Duterte knows his limits
- The assurance was made after Duterte responded to Chief Justice Martia Lourdes Sereno’s letter
- In his response, the President threatens to declare Martial Law
After drawing criticisms for threatening to impose martial law in the Philippines, Malacanang assured that President Rodrigo Duterte knows his limits.
The assurance was made after the tough-talking President earlier responded to Chief Justice Martia Lourdes Sereno’s letter airing concerns with the leader’s move to name judges allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade.
In defense, Presidential Communications Office chief Martin Andanar cleared the issue by addressing fears of a second martial law in the Philippines, an article published by ABS-CBN News dated August 10 stated.
As an explanation, Andanar said Duterte ”merely asked a rhetorical question and said it under the context that his anti-drug campaign cannot wait for the slow wheels of justice – PH style.”
Andanar added that the President has made use of executive powers at his disposal, knowing fully well the limits of these powers, and without undermining the constitutional separation of powers nor infringing upon the rights of citizens.
Meanwhile, critics expressed fears that Duterte’s incendiary comments against the head of a co-equal branch of government might trigger a constitutional crisis.
A day after Duterte named some judges as allegedly involved in the illegal drugs menace, Sereno sent a letter to the President noting that the judiciary was ”caught unprepared” by his move.
In her letter, the chief justice said that the judiciary has administrative supervision over all courts, and that by being linked to the drug trade, the seven judges named by the Presidenrt were put in a vulnerable position.
As such, the SC asked the Palace on Tuesday to submit within seven days complaints for administrative proceedings against four out of seven judges in the president’s list to assert its jurisdiction over the judges.
As a consequence, the high court decided to treat Duterte’s speech as basis for complaints against the mentioned judges.
In connection, Malacanang sought to downplay fears of a constitutional crisis.
‘‘The President is a member of the bar who believes in the rule of law and advocates for judicial independence. As President, he has the sworn duty to uphold and defend the Constitution. The words and action of the President all point to these,” Andanar was quoted saying.