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Accept challenge, CJ, Morales told

By: Genalyn D. Kabiling

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P.A. Sereno and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales should accept the challenge to resign and open their bank records if they are not really corrupt, President Duterte said last Thursday.

The President said he and two other government officials should “go quietly into the night” after working in government for so long.

“If you are really honest, tutal you have been there for several years, including me. Why don’t we just resign?”Duterte said during an agribusiness expo in Pasay City.

“Kung talagang hindi kayo salbahe, hindi kayo magnanakaw… hindi, you are qualified to hold the job, you should accept my dare,” he added.

Sereno and Morales have refused to heed the President’s challenge to resign with him despite allegations of corruption and partiality.

Sereno’s camp claimed the Chief Justice has done nothing unlawful to merit her resignation. Morales said she would not be baited into abandoning her constitutional duties.

The President issued the resignation challenge amid the controversial inquiry into his alleged hidden wealth by the Ombudsman.

In his remarks last Thursday, Duterte said Sereno and Morales should resign with him since they “bug the Filipinos everyday with so many issues.”

He said they should go to Congress with their bank records for scrutiny and simultaneously sign their resignation letters.

“If you want them, convince them ‘accept Duterte’s challenge.” Then we go quietly into the night,” the President told the crowd gathered at the Agrilink/Foodlink/Aqualink 2017 Festival at the World Trade Center Metro Manila.

The President said he was ready to lose the presidency after having been in public service for more than two decades.

He said he was grateful for having the chance to render public service but is already “beyond adulation” of the public.

“I never lost an election, including the presidency. What more do I want from God and the people? Tapos na ako,” he said.

“I am beyond ‘yung adulation, ‘yung ganun na palakpak ‘Duterte, Duterte.’ It does not appeal to me at all. Do not be offended pero I do not find any fulfillment there. All I have to do is I want to do my job,” he said.

The President has stepped up the attacks against Sereno and the Ombudsman, threatening to pursue their impeachment in Congress.

Duterte has accused Sereno of allegedly failing to declare her true wealth and using public funds to finance her lavish lifestyle.