While maintaining her silence, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno made sure President Rodrigo Duterte knows she took notice of the chief executive's apology.
"The chief justice appreciates the president's latest remarks. As previously announced, she will no longer say anything on this matter," Supreme Court spokesperson Theodore Te said Friday in a brief televised message.
The statement came the day after Duterte said at a press conference in Davao City that he is sorry for the "harsh words, which were never intended."
"Because of the magnitude of the problem, it was my way of solving the problem within the ambit of my powers as president," Duterte said, referring to the campaign to end the illegal drug trade.
After Duterte released a list of personalities that included judges allegedly linked to illegal drugs, Sereno wrote a letter asking the president to let the judiciary deal with its own members. She "very strongly" cautioned judges on the list against surrendering without any warrant of arrest issued against them.
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The Supreme Court has also announced that it will conduct an investigation on the allegations that four active judges are linked to drugs. It has directed Executive Secretary Salvado Medialdea to submit formal complaints against the judges to the court.
Duterte responded with ire on Tuesday, saying he did not appreciate being ordered by the top magistrate. He also rhetorically asked if she would rather have him declare martial law to rid the country of its drug problem.
"If this continues, pigilan mo ako eh 'di sige 'pag nagwala na, or would you rather I declare martial law? Pinapatay ang Pilipino. I grieve for so many women raped, men killed, infants raped tapos ipitin mo ako," Duterte said in Cagayan de Oro City.
Sereno answered Duterte's remarks with silence. Te said the chief justice saw "no need to add to what are being said."
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