President Rodrigo Duterte's statement that he does not prefer the country's next top judge to be a woman seems to prove "theories" of his "anti-woman attitude," said ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Thursday.
"The Constitution extols the equality of the sexes so mukhang hindi niya yata mahal ang ating Constitution," Sereno said during an event at the Ateneo de Manila University, one of her first few public appearances after she was booted out of the Supreme Court (SC) last Friday.
She was responding to a query in connection with Duterte's laying down of his preferred characteristics of the chief justice to succeed Sereno: the next top magistrate should not be a politician, and not a woman.
"Ang mga kababaihan ay kailangang bigyan ng oportunidad. Bakit niya sinabi yun -- ay parang binibibigyan niyang patotoo 'yung mga teorya tungkol sa anti-women attitude niya," she said.
As it granted Solicitor General Jose Calida's petition for quo warranto, the SC also declared the position of chief justice vacant and ordered the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) to start the nomination and application process for the top judge.
The JBC will screen and shortlist candidates for submission to Duterte.
During the same interview with reporters, Duterte said he "will have to consult everybody" except outgoing Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales on who will be the top graft buster's replacement.
Morales retires in July.
"I will even have to consult the Ombudsman people, not Morales para sigurado, 'yung gusto ng tao," the president told reporters Wednesday night. — RSJ, GMA News