October 13, 2017
An alliance of lawyers denounced on Friday President Rodrigo Duterte’s “brazen assaults” against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, saying these attacks “deliberately undermine” the independence of their respective institutions.
The Alternative Law Groups (ALG) said the President’s tirades and the moves to unseat the two officials are a threat in maintaining the checks and balances in the government.
“We, the Alternative Law Groups (ALG), denounce the brazen assaults against democratic institutions of President Rodrigo Duterte, which undermine the independent bodies mandated by the Constitution to maintain the system of checks and balances in the government,” the group said in a statement.
“These acts deliberately undermine the independence of the institutions whose duties primarily consist in upholding public trust by cleansing the government’s ranks of graft and corruption and maintaining checks and balances so that tyranny would not arise from any branch of the government again,” it added.
Duterte has criticized Sereno and Morales, who have been vocal against his violent campaign against illegal drugs several times and on other different issues.
He had criticized the chief justice for “sitting” on the temporary restraining order against two provisions of the Reproductive Health Law, and the Ombudsman for handing down “selective justice.”