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Good Morning Judge: CJ Sereno’s courageous stand

AS WE write this piece, reports from print and broadcast media are that Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno who is facing impeachment case before the House Committee on Justice is not going to appear before the committee to personally answer the charges against her filed by Atty. Lorenzo Gardon. The charges against the Chief Justice includes “misdeclaring her finances, excessive use of judiciary funds, falsification of court resolutions, and manipulation of the processes of the Judicial and Bar Council, among others.” Instead, she reportedly executed a special power of attorney authorizing 11 lawyers to represent her at the hearings “telling the House Justice Committee that they may act on her behalf and exercise her rights, including the cross-examination of witnesses.” In a further report, Sereno was said to have urged judges not to be swayed by “political pressures” in carrying out their mandate to protect the Constitution and defend the rule of law. She was quoted to have said that “this is part of the sacred trust for which we have made our vows. Uphold the Constitution and the rule of law dictated never by political winds, but by, our conscience and the power of our conviction.” The courageous stand taken by the Chief Justice deserves the support of the Filipino people. With her stance, she is protecting not only herself but the Supreme Court as an institution and the last bulwark of justice and democracy in our country. Perhaps the Chief Justice can find inspiration in the case of Citizens of Mandela vs. Dela Torre-Yadao decided by the Supreme Court in November 2002, and I quote: “On the whole, judges ought to be mindful of the crucial role they play in keeping the flames of justice alive and forever burning. Cognizant of this sacred task, judges are duty bound to vigilantly and conscientiously man the wheels of justice as it grinds through eternity. In a sense, judges are revered as modern-day sentinels, who, like their erudite forerunners, must never slumber, so to speak, in the hour of service to their countrymen. For as lady justice never sleeps, so must the gallant men tasked to guard her domain.” TRIVIA: The Real Estate Brokers Association of the Philippines (REBAP), Naga City and Camarines Sur Chapter is set to hold its 20th Anniversary celebration. this coming Saturday, November 25, at Villa Caceres Hotel. The Ateneo de Naga University high school batch l954 will be sponsoring the Eucharistic Celebration this coming Sunday at the Ateneo’S Christ The King Church after which they will have their fellowship-luncheon at a resto-bar along Magsaysay Avenue. The Holy Mass sponsorship is a traditional yearly activity of the batch every last Sunday of November. Rev. Fr. Celerino Reyes, S.J. will preside the 9:00 o’clock Holy Mass. QUOTATION OF THE WEEK: “RESPONSIBILITY IS THE PRICE OF GREATNESS.” WINSTON CHURCHILL FOR OUR WORD OF LIFE: “IF YOU RETURN TO THE ALMIGHTY YOU WILL BE RESTORED.” JOB 24:23

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