Sereno’s pledge to Duterte, Robredo: ‘Even hand, watchful eye’

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Sereno’s pledge to Duterte, Robredo: ‘Even hand, watchful eye’
Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno congratulates the incoming President and Vice President

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Tuesday, May 31, congratulated incoming President Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo, wishing them “unity of mind” as they lead the country.

“I assure President-elect Duterte and his administration of the only thing that the Judiciary is capable of promising – that we will continue to administer the rule of law with an even hand and a watchful eye,” Sereno said in a statement a day after Duterte and Robredo were proclaimed by Congress as winners in the 2016 presidential and vice presidential races.

An appointee of outgoing Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, Sereno has 14 more years left in her term as chief justice. 

But in his 6-year term as president, Duterte will be appointing 10 new justices to the 15-member High Tribunal. That will be almost triple the number of justices (4) that President Aquino appointed to the SC.

Justice Martin Villarama took an early retirement early this year. 

Here is a list of the retirements from 2016 to June 2022, when Duterte is scheduled to step down from office:


  • Justice Jose Perez
  • Justice Arturo Brion


  • Justice Bienvenido Reyes
  • Justice Jose Mendoza


  • Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr
  • Justice Teresita de Castro


  • Justice Antonio Carpio
  • Justice Francis Jardeleza
  • Justice Mariano del Castillo
  • Justice Lucas Bersamin

The Aquino administration had a difficult relationship with the High Court in his first years in office, since it was dominated by appointees of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Aquino supported initiatives to impeach then Chief Justice Renato Corona, who was subsequently dismissed from office in 2013. Corona died in April 2016. –


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