MANILA - The conduct of the 2016 polls is a "major test” that will determine the strength of the country's democratic institutions.
This is according to Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, who granted reporters a brief interview on the sidelines of the Supreme Court's 114th anniversary celebrations on Thursday.
Sereno said 2016 poses major challenges because the scheduled synchronized national and local elections will entail massive preparations.
The high court, meantime, is gearing up for the expected flooding of election-related petitions, she added.
"Hindi biro ang mag-launch ng national elections sa atin; I think everyone should be aware of the challenges that are ahead of us. Maraming legal questions na haharap sa atin kaya kailangan yung ating...nagkakaisa, that we provide the best possible quality of service in the form of justice to our people,” she said.
"Many cases, of course. Wala na yan, trend na yan talaga, it's a given. Ang job sa amin ngayon is to manage our time how to make sure that we can deliver all these thoughtful decisions in the appropriate time... we're also very much aware of our role come election time. It's time we prepare.”
The chief magistrate refused to expound on the nature of election-related cases that are expected to be filed with the high court in the run-up to the polls.
She gave the assurance, however, that a "systemic review" of processes and procedures is being undertaken by the SC and the judiciary, as a whole, to respond to the call of the times.
"Ang intention natin is to make sure that all those who believe in the rule of law should be united in [its] pursuit," Sereno said.