Robredo hopes CJ De Castro to ‘unify’ Supreme Court again
MANILA, Philippines – After condemning the ouster of ex-Supreme Court (SC) chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, Vice President Leni Robredo hopes Sereno’s successor Teresita Leonardo de Castro would once again unify the court.
On Wednesday, August 29, Robredo was asked to react to President Rodrigo Duterte’s appointment of De Castro as Chief Justice following the SC voting 8-6 in May to grant the quo warranto petition that nullified Sereno’s appointment.
“Kaunti lang iyong panahon na binibigay sa kanya—hanggang Oktubre lang. Iyong ating pinaka-wish na sana magamit iyong kaunting panahon para kahit papaano mabuo ulit. Mabuo ulit iyong tiwala ng tao sa Korte Suprema, iyong integridad, maging unifying na figure si Chief Justice De Castro para mapalakas muli iyong institusyon,” said Robredo.
(Only a short time was given to her – she has only until October to serve. Our wish for her is that she would be able to unify the Supreme Court again during that short period. May Chief Justice De Castro be a unifying figure so the institution would be strengthened and the people can trust the Supreme Court again.)
De Castro's stint would be brief, as she is set to retire on October 8.
The Vice President, however, did not react to questions if she has any fears over De Castro’s time as chief justice possibly influencing the outcome of the electoral protest filed against her by ex-senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
The controversial ouster of Sereno in May exposed cracks at the SC, with several justices publicly airing their grievances against the ousted chief justice during her impeachment hearings at the House of Representatives.
The impeachment complaint against Sereno was later deemed “moot and academic” after she was removed via quo warranto by her former colleagues.
Robredo herself had denounced Sereno’s removal from office. The Vice President also urged Filipinos to strengthen their resolve to protect “what remains of our democracy” after the SC affirmed Sereno’s ouster in June. – Rappler.com