"Ako ang pangulo ng bansa, may ginagawa ako para labanan ang problema sa droga na anim na taong inupuan ng gobyernong nag-appoint sa’yo", Duterte said before the 4th Infantry Division ng Philippine Army in Cagayan De Oro City.
"Pareho tayong abogado kaya huwag mo akong turuan ng trabaho ko", he added.
The President also pointed out that there is nothing wrong in mentioning the names of some dead suspects involved in illegal drugs.
"Malinaw ang sinabi ko, wala akong utos na hulihin ang mga judges na sabit sa droga ng walang warrant of arrest, pati mga pulis hindi ko pinaaresto, ang sinabi ko magreport kayo sa Supreme Court," the Chief Executive stated, also explained why it is important for the public to understand how these people get engaged in such crimes.
The President stated that he will continue the fight against people involved in illegal drug trades despite the Supreme Court threatening him of charges against the Constitution.
Supreme Court Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno expressed grave concern towards the seven judges tagged in illegal drug trade by the President and defended them.
Sereno defended seven judges and urged them to not surrender to police without warrants of arrests. The Chief justice stated in her 4-paged letter channeled through Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II that the seven judges are not even handling drug related cases and impossible to be involved in any criminal activity in general.
"The Court would consider it important to know the source and basis of any allegation that specific judges are involved in the illegal drug trade in line with its duty to exercise administrative supervision over all lower courts," she wrote in the letter.
"Our judges may have been rendered vulnerable and veritable targets for any of those persons and groups who may consider judges as acceptable collateral damage in the war on drugs," she added.
The President revealed only the surnames of the seven judges, however, in Sereno's letter, he listed the full names of the judges and also stated their current situation.
- Lorenda Mupas was dismissed in 2007 as MTC Judge of Dasmariñas, Cavite for gross ignorance of the law/misconduct.
- Judge Roberto Navidad, formerly of the RTC, Branch 32, Calbayog City, Samar was killed on January 14, 2008 at the age of 69.
- Judge Rene Gonzales, formerly of the MTCC, Branch 7, Iloilo City, compulsorily retired last June 20, 2016.
- Judge Exequil Dagala of the MTC, Dapa-Socorro, Surigao, does not have jurisdiction over drugs cases, the same way that Judge Gonzales does not.
- Judge Adriano Savillo, RTC, Branch 30, Iloilo City is a family court judge who does not have jurisdiction over drugs cases except in cases where a minor is a respondent.
- Judge Domingo Casiple, RTC, Branch 7, Kalibo, Aklan is the judge of a court of general jurisdiction without jurisdiction over drugs cases.
- Judge Antonio Reyes, RTC, Branch 61, Baguio City, Benguet presides over the designated drugs court in that multi-sala court.
The Chief justice pointed out in her letter that "it would be helpful to know the specifics on how judges without jurisdiction over drugs cases influence the drug trade in their localities."
"The Court would consider it important to know the source and basis of any allegation that specific judges are involved in the illegal drugs trade in line with its duty to exercise administrative supervision over all lower courts," she added.
Sereno is concerned with the security of the seven judges now that the President did a "premature public announcement" by naming them.
Source: Rappler, Pinoythinking