Sereno: Testify vs corrupt judges

Paterno Esmaquel II
Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno calls for 'evidence-based' investigations into corruption in Philippine courts

FILE AFFIDAVITS. Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno urges the public to expose corrupt judges. Photo by LeANNE Jazul

MANILA, Philippines – Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Wednesday, August 28, called for “evidence-based investigations” into corruption in Philippine courts, as she marked her first year in office with an unprecedented meeting with the press.

“We intend to crack down, really, on the wayward ones,” Sereno told a panel of journalists on Wednesday.

The problem, she said, is that stories about corruption in the judiciary remain unverified. She urged the filing of affidavits on corruption in the judiciary. (Watch more in the video below.)

“That is the kind of evidence that will send a chilling effect, in fact an inhibitive effect, on those who are trying to believe, or those who starting to believe, that they can gain money from the system,” Sereno said.

“We cannot prove our mettle until we have disciplined our judges correctly,” Sereno added. 

WATCH: As it happens: #AskCJ

Earlier in Wednesday’s press conference, she downplayed intrigues of internal politics, and said she keeps “good, working professional relationships” with her fellow justices.

READ: Sereno claims ‘good ties’ with justices

She said: “If our relationships weren’t good, how could we have achieved such historic landmarks?” 

Sereno also vowed her independence from the President who appointed her in 2012.

READ: Check my voting pattern, Sereno dares critics

“I haven’t received any request, or any message, to vote in accordance with the political plans of any person, and I am grateful that they respect that. I hope people will look at my voting pattern,” the chief justice said. – Rappler.com

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Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.