Sereno claims ‘good ties’ with justices

Paterno Esmaquel II
Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno downplays intrigues of internal politics within the Supreme Court

'GOOD' RELATIONSHIPS. Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno downplays intrigues of internal politics within the SC. Photo by LeANNE Jazul

MANILA, Philippines – Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Wednesday, August 28, said she keeps “good” relationships with other members of the Supreme Court (SC), downplaying intrigues of internal politics as she marks her first year in office.

“What I see right now are good, working professional relationships,” Sereno said in her unprecedented press conference on Wednesday.

She said the SC under her watch, after all, has passed crucial measures, such as the rules on the efficient use of paper and the use of judicial affidavits. The SC has also approved a crucial rule on financial rehabilitation, she said.

Sereno, who bypassed more senior members of the SC through her appointment, said: “If our relationships weren’t good, how could have we achieved such historic landmarks?” (Watch more in the video below.)

When Sereno was appointed as the 24th Chief Justice in August 2012, bypassed 4 senior SC justices who were also nominated for the post, including then Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio. The other senior justices on the shortlist submitted to the President were: Justices Roberto Abad, Arturo Brion, and Justice Teresita Leonardo-De Castro. 

Tradition dictates that seniority should be a prime consideration in choosing the head of the judiciary.

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

In Wednesday’s press conference, Sereno also vowed to clean up the judiciary, but also asked for the public’s help.

In particular, she called for the filing of affidavits against corrupt judges, and called for “evidence-based” investigation into judicial corruption.

READ: Sereno: Testify vs corrupt judges

“We intend to crack down, really, on the wayward ones,” Sereno said.

WATCH: Livestream: #AskCJ

– 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.