The enemies...President Rodrigo Duterte and ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.  (Presidential Photo/CNNPH)

In the midst of widespread condemnation, dissatisfaction and even anger by his own people for his seeming insatiable thirst for power, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, whose popularity went down by 10 points in a latest survey, came out swinging with a warning that the president of Communist China, Xi Jinping, has supposedly assured him that “nobody could force him out of office.”

And that he will be protected, not by Filipinos, but by the Chinese leader, who, he virtually worships.

If the above Duterte story is not an invention, we think it is a cowardice warning.

This president has been behaving like a nervous small boy.

We also view it as an advanced notice to the PH military organization that if it does something against him, China will repel them.

The whole universe heard and read when Mr. Duterte announced two weeks before the controversial ouster that the ousted Chief Justice, Maria Lourdes Sereno, was his enemy and that he wanted a hastened removal of the ex-Chief Justice from office.

Ms. Sereno was a courageous critic of Duterte’s anti-drug program and the extrajudicial killings associated with it, as well as, other presidential decisions deemed as weakening Philippine democracy and as lording it over the institutions of government.


Demonstrator displays her placards with police.  (Getty Images)

Respectable members of Philippine society, led by Deans of Law Colleges of different universities, opposed the manner of removal employed by the highest court of the land, which was apparently influenced to a large extent by presidential pressure.

It is their position that impeachment is the only way to remove constitutional officials from office like the Chief Justice.

Hence, Sereno’s ouster is widely perceived as wrong and unconstitutional.

Many Filipinos fear that democracy in the Philippines, as we know it, is dying in the hands of Duterte.

But, they won’t let it happen.

This is what Duterte seems to be afraid of.

Thus, he sought the protection of his Chinese master.

Anti-Duterte and pro-democracy mass actions by concerned Filipinos are being planned both in the Philippines and in New York.

A former Dean of the University of the Philippines, the country’s premier school of higher learning, invoked last week after the Supreme Court’s controversial decision, an accepted democratic dictum on the right of the people to establish a new government that will be truly responsive to the interests and demands of the people.

Quoted in The New York Times, Filipino Sen. Risa Hontiveros, accusing President Duterte of “subverting” the Constitution, reportedly said, “This is a black day for justice and the rule of law.”

In New York, a group of concerned Filipinos called “Malaya Movement” will march and rally for human rights and democracy in the Philippines.

The group said in a statement sent to the Filipino Reporter, “Democracy (in the Philippines) is practically dead with the fall of the judiciary. The Filipino people, both in the Philippines and abroad, are left with no choice but to take it to the parliament of the streets.”


Ousted Chief Justice Sereno addresses her supporters.  (Google Image)

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