IN our column last week I wrote about the travails which SC Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno is facing in the light of the decision of the House Committee on Justice to impeach her for various offenses including graft and corruption and false statements in her SALN, among others. Reports are that the impeachment case shall be voted on plenary session of the House sometime later this month and will eventually be forwarded to the Senate for trial seating as Impeachment Tribunal. In the meantime, she valiantly resisted calls for her resignation even by his peers in the Supreme Court and its employees. She claims that she is entitled to due process of law which has been deprived her at the House Committee on Justice hearing chaired by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez where her lawyers were not even allowed to cross examine the complainants who filed the impeachment case against her. Indeed, this writer believes that the Chief Justice has been unduly deprived by the House Committee of her constitutional right to due process.
Needless to say, the right to due process is a fundamental right to which anyone facing trial is entitled to, the deprivation of which negates the entire proceedings. As Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Sereno has a “crucial role” to play in the Supreme Court in the dispensation of cases pending before it. While the Supreme Court does not hear facts on cases before it, how she votes in that collegial body is guided purely by her conscience. The Supreme Court itself, in the case of Citizens of Madela vs. Dela Torre-Yadao decided in November 2002, has ruled 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.”
Parenthetically, this writer commends and gives kudos to the RTC Judges of Camarines Sur and the organization of Regional Trial Court employees in this judicial district for refusing to join the rallies of some Supreme Court justices and employees calling for the resignation of Chief Justice Sereno. The latter deserves her day in Court.
The Officers of the Real Estate Brokers Association (REBAP), Naga City and Camarines Sur Chapter is scheduled to have its regular meeting this coming Friday at 1:00pm at Aljosh resto-bar.
The USI high school batch ‘55 will have its regular luncheon-fellowship meeting this coming Saturday, February 17, at the Robinson’s Mama’s Restaurant. All members are encouraged to attend.
QUOTATION OF THE WEEK:
“THE BEST AND MOST BEAUTIFUL THINGS IN THIS WORLD CANNOT BE SEEN NOR TOUCHED. THEY MUST BE FELT IN THE HEART.”
FOR OUR WORD OF LIFE:
“EVEN TO THE DEATH, FIGHT FOR TRUTH AND THE LORD YOUR GOD WILL BATTLE FOR YOUR.”