CJ Sereno Should Move the People to Seek Succor From the Court

A day after Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno took her oath of office as the new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, human rights lawyers and law students from the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) reiterate the challenge for her to be independent, impartial and pro-people. 

The challenge is doubly pounded on CJ Sereno.  Also perceived as a favoured presidential appointee, it is not unexpected for some quarters to cast doubt and to question her judicious resolve to institute the reforms she promised to protect and promote the Constitution and the so-called rule of law, and put life and meaning to the basic principles of check and balances and the separation of powers.

The new Chief Justice should have and maintain the people’s trust. She has to face up to the immense challenge to be truly independent and impartial and prove that she is really her own woman. 

Being the one of the youngest and the first woman to be appointed to the highest position in the country’s judicial branch, CJ Sereno’s catapulted ascendancy to the post is both highly significant and historical.  She should seize this moment and her quite long term of office to concretely bring genuine reforms to the judiciary. These reforms must indispensably include those which will benefit the ordinary folk who have less in life.

We as officers of the court shall hail the new Chief as befits her stature and position but we shall temper our expectations and let her decisions and actions speak for themselves. 

We hope CJ Sereno will have the vision and use her position and inimitable chance to move the people to seek succor from a Court that should give them a fair shake and that will put the mighty and the powerful in place. 

Else, it would be an unspeakable tragedy of its own if she squanders this defining moment.  She must be conscious that the people and history would judge her accordingly in this light.  ###

Reference: Atty. Edre U. Olalia, NUPL Secretary General, 09175113373

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