‘Woman CJ not necessarily pro-woman’
MANILA, Philippines – Women’s group Gabriela urged newly appointed Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to prove that she will be independent and promote the welfare of women.
In a statement on Monday, August 27, Gabriela Representative Luzviminda Iligan echoed the concern of Hacienda Luisita farmers that Sereno’s appointment may be an obstacle to the distribution of the Cojuangco-Aquino owned sugar estate to 5,000 farmer-beneficiaries.
“While Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno is making her mark in history by being the first woman Chief Justice, a woman-led Supreme Court does not necessarily translate to a pro-woman, pro-poor judiciary,” said Ilagan.
Ilagan added, “She has yet to prove that she will be independent of the appointing powers and that we will not have a yellow Supreme Court.”
Earlier Monday, Aquino called on Sereno to restore the public’s faith in the judiciary after the impeachment trial of former Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Farmers’ groups have criticized Sereno for her decision in the Hacienda Luisita case. Sereno did not oppose the distribution of the sugar estate but wrote in her dissenting opinion that the compensation of the Cojuangco family must be based on the 2006 valuation, not the 1989 valuation.
The computation Sereno favored would have resulted in a higher windfall for Aquino’s relatives.
‘Fill up court vacancies’
For Deputy Speaker and Quezon Rep Lorenzo “Erin” Tañada III, Sereno’s focus should be on fast-tracking efforts to fill up court vacancies.
Aquino’s partymate was more positive of Sereno’s appointment, describing her as a “perfect poster girl” to encourage young lawyers to join the judiciary.
“I think she will inspire many qualified members of the bar to transfer to the bench. This is the kind of migration of talent we would like to see.”
“We all know that we can only ease and eliminate the backlog of cases by addressing the shortage of judges and other court personnel,” Tañada added. – Rappler.com
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