She was the enemy of Philippine President Duterte, and her fellow judges just sacked her

Photo via mb.com.ph

By Siobhán O’Grady/washingtonpost.com – Last month, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced a warning for the chief justice of his country’s Supreme Court. “I am putting you on notice that I am now your enemy,” he said.

“I will not hesitate to do what is in the best interest of my country,” he said. “If it calls for your forced removal, I will do it.”

And on Friday, the Supreme Court forced her out, voting 8 to 6 for her to step down following accusations that she had failed to fully disclose her wealth.

Maria Lourdes Sereno was the first female chief justice of Philippines’ highest court, and she is an outspoken critic of Duterte’s controversial war on drugs. Activists and opposition figures say that corruption allegations against her are a pretext for the real reason she was pushed out: She stood up against the president.

Duterte rose to power on the promise that he would put an end to the drug trade in the Philippines, and thousands of people identified as suspected drug dealers have been killed since he took office 2016 — by police and unidentified gunmen on motorbikes.

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