Tuesday 23 October, 2018
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BBC host to Sereno: You sound more of a politician than a chief justice

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Stephen Sackur, BBC HARDtalk’s host, called ousted chief justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno more of a politician than a magistrate.

Sereno was defending herself over public political statements against President Duterte she issued before and after her removal as the country’s highest court official.

“You’re sounding very much like a politician and a die-hard opponent of Rodrigo Duterte than you’re sounding like a chief justice of the Supreme Court,” Sackur told Sereno during the live video interview.

“You say you’ve always stayed away from politics. But why did you decide to make public comments?” he asked.

But Sereno clarified that she did not consider her statement as political, saying she was just fighting for rule of law and observance of constitutional due process.

“It’s not a political statement at all, Stephen. To the contrary, it just was a very diplomatic reminder that every official is bound to observe the constitutional guarantees of due process,” she explained.

“I have a duty to always protect the independence of the judiciary – not political at all,” she said.

But Sackur said: “US, European Union, Western chief justices would not come out with high-profile political statements,” he said.

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