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No time for intrigue, Sereno tells SC

Purple S. Romero
Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno says she needs the help of justices and court employees amid reports some justices have yet to recognize her appointment

DON'T LOSE FAITH. President Aquino calls on Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to carry on despite the challenges that she has to bear. File photo from Sereno oath-taking by Malacañang Photo Bureau

MANILA, Philippines – Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno said on Monday, September 3, that there should be no time for “intrigue” in the Supreme Court now, amid reports that senior SC justices have yet to recognize her appointment.

Sereno, 52, will stay in the post for 18 years, effectively preventing the other 5 senior magistrates – Justices Antonio Carpio, Teresita Leonardo de Castro, Presbitero Velasco Jr, Arturo Brion and Diosdado Peralta – from being appointed to the position.

They were a no-show at the first flag ceremony that Sereno attended as chief justice today, Monday. They also did not attend her oath-taking on August 25 in Malacañang.

Sereno asked the court employees – whom she faced in public for the first time on Monday – to ignore the rumors of divisiveness in the Court. “Maaari po bang hindi muna natin pansinin ang mga intriga?” Sereno said. (Can we not pay attention to the intrigues first?)

Sereno said she needs the help of all justices and Court employees to instill reforms in the judiciary.

Narito po ako upang maghanap ng solusyon kasama na po ang aking mga colleagues sa Korte Suprema. Nagsusumamo po ako na pagkatiwalaan n’yo kami, na naiintidihan namin ang hinaing ninyo at nais naming makahanap ng solusyon,” she said. (I’m here to find solutions along with my colleagues at the Supreme Court. I appeal to you to trust us. We understand your concerns and we want to come up with solutions.)

She described the SC as a “bagong bayani (new hero),” adding that it needs the help of all its members and the public.

God’s decision

She stressed that her appointment to the post on August 24 was not politically motivated but reflected God’s will, and that her stay in it will also be defined by service.

Hindi po ito gawa ng tao, hindi po ito gawa ng kahit sinong political bloc. Hindi po ito produkto ng pagla-lobby ng business or economic interests, kundi ng Diyos na may alam ng tama para sa ating bayan,” she said. (It’s not caused by people, by any political bloc. It’s not a product of lobbying from business or economic interests, but by God, who knows what’s right for the nation.)

Sereno replaced dismissed Chief Justice Renato Corona, who was removed from his post on May 29 for failing to disclose P183 million in peso and dollar bank deposits in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth. –

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