Sereno not ruling out Senate run

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 21) — Running for Senate is not on former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno's mind — but she is not ruling out the possibility.

Sereno previously dismissed the likelihood of seeking elective office in 2019, but with calls for her to run for senator, she said she will defer deciding on the matter.

"Saka na po iyon....Mas masalimuot po ang pulitika. Hindi natin makikita talaga ang kalahatang landasin — hindi pa ngayon," Sereno told CNN Philippines' The Source Monday.

[Translation: That's for later... Politics is more complicated. We can't see the road ahead — at least, not now.]

The former Chief Justice has been critical of President Rodrigo Duterte's administration, voting against some of his decisions and even calling for him to resign. Duterte previously pronounced himself her enemy.

Sereno was ousted by the Supreme Court in a controversial decision on May 11, and is expected to file a motion for reconsideration on or before May 30.

The court voted in favor of a quo warranto petition that sought to disqualify her appointment in 2012. Sereno said her camp is focused on appealing the decision.

"Yung mga pinag-iisipan ng ibang tao, hindi ko pa pinag-iisipan," she said of calls for her to run. "We have a fight still in our hands... Right now I'm just trying to clear my mind so we have a chance of winning our reconsideration." 

[Translation: I'm still not thinking of what other people are thinking.]

House Justice Committee Chair Rey Umali also told The Source on Monday, the Liberal Party was considering adopting Sereno as a senatorial candidate in the 2019 elections.

"I know... she is being considered by the Liberal Party," he said.

Even Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo advised her to go for it.

"She wants to vindicate her honor. I think that's the only way... Kung ako ang abogado niya, sasabihin ko, 'Takbo ka na lang [If I were her lawyer, I'd tell her to just run],'" said Panelo during the show.

Sereno was not included in the lineup of at least six bets fielded by the opposition coalition on Monday. These were re-electionist Sen. Bam Aquino, former Quezon Rep. Erin Tanada, Free Legal Assistance Group Chair Chel Diokno, Magdalo Party-list Rep. Gary Alejano, and former Akbayan Party-list Rep. Barry Gutierrez. The coalition is also looking to recruit actress Agot Isidro.

The "Resistance" coalition is composed of the Liberal Party, Akbayan, and Magdalo, and the organization Tindig Pilipinas.

When asked about Sereno's possible run, Liberal Party President Kiko Pangilinan responded, "We have to have strong women in our ticket."