President Rodrigo Duterte’s martial law threat — Harmless or grounds for possible contempt citation?

“Defying the Supreme Court is always an individual responsibility of any person who will ultimately accept the burden of a possible contempt citation.”

By Maila Ager
Philippine Inquirer

Senator Panfilo Lacson (inset) downplayed on Wednesday, August, 10, 2016, the threat of President Rodrigo Duterte to impose martial law amid a spat with Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. The senator said the threat was just a threat–a manifestation of Duterte’s ‘bullheadedness.’ INQUIRER FILES

“His bullheadedness is epic,” Senator Panfilo Lacson said of President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday.

“By now, we should already be familiar with his antics especially when making spontaneous statements or announcements to media,” Lacson said in a text message.

PRESIDENT Duterte rebuked Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno for telling him that only the Supreme Court can discipline judges. JIGGER JERUSALEM/INQUIRER MINDANAO

“Of course, we should know that the martial law threat is just that and nothing more,” he added.

READ: Duterte warns Sereno: Get out of my way or it’s martial law

The senator issued the statements when sought for comment on Duterte’s scathing remarks against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

Duterte raised the possibility of declaring martial law while rebuking Sereno for cautioning judges not to follow his order to report to authorities and explain their alleged involvement in illegal drugs.

The President had named several judges in a long list of personalities allegedly involved in illegal drugs.

READ: Sereno writes Duterte, airs concern over naming officials, judges

“I’m giving you a warning. Don’t create a crisis because I will order everybody in the executive department not to honor you,” Duterte said.

“Please do not, you say, create a constitutional issue. There will be. Don’t order me, I’m telling you. I hope you are listening.”

“You want me to be frank? You’re interfering (with my job)… Please, don’t order me. I’m not a fool. If this continues, (that) you’re trying to stop me, I might lose my cool. Or would you rather I declare martial law?” the President added.

Asked  about  the President’s threat that he would order the executive not to honor the Chief Justice,  Lacson said, “Defying the SC is always an individual responsibility of any person who will ultimately accept the burden of a possible contempt citation.”

Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/804788/lacson-martial-law-just-a-threat-by-bullheaded-duterte#ixzz4GuO2y6hr
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