Sereno says judiciary 'takes care of each other'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 15 2017 12:31 PM

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Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno said she and her colleagues were taking care of each other, days after co-magistrates testified at the impeachment hearing against her at the House of Representatives. 

Earlier this month, Court Administrator Midas Marquez told the House Justice Committee that benefits for surviving spouses of justices and judges were delayed because of a committee formed by Sereno.

Other magistrates - Justices Noel Tijam, Francis Jardeleza, Teresita de Castro, and retired justice Arturo Brion - also testified against Sereno's alleged usurpation of the collegial power of the Supreme Court.

But on Friday, a seemingly happy and energetic Sereno told court employees that the judiciary was taking care of each other.

"The judiciary takes care of each other in service of the nation. We look forward to continue taking care of each other," Sereno said.

"Because we are content, dahil successful tayo at inaalagaan natin ang isa't isa, we should always be thankful and happy," she added.

The Chief Justice also encouraged other law practitioners to follow the reforms she instituted in the high court.

"Our hope is that because of these reforms, 'yung entire justice sector the prosecution, defense, and IBP ay susunod na sa atin," Sereno said.

She also touted the achievements of the judiciary under her helm.

"This is a time of rejoicing because we have so much accomplishments that we can produce with enough proof. Ang hindi lang namin expertise, paano ba magkuwento sa taong bayan," Sereno said in a speech delivered before court employees.

Sereno said at least 294 electronic courts have been established nationwide to expedite court documents processing.

"Habang binabasa ng judge (ang decision), tinatype na ng stenographer. Ie-edit at ipi-print in 15 minutes at automatically ise-serve na, hindi na ime-mail. Kung nandoon ang abogado, diretso nang ibibigay," Sereno said.

The chief magistrate said "standard procedures" were embedded in a "very tradition-bounded bureaucratic system" to decentralize "basic functions" and make the judiciary more efficient.

"Our financials are the best, our standards are the best... We can face everyone with pride, honor, dignity," she said.

Sereno also promised more benefits, scholarships, and trainings for court employees.

"'Yung justices lahat pinapangalagaan ang inyong kapakanan. Tinitignan namin ang inyong medical needs, scholarships, training," she said.

Sereno made no mention of the impeachment hearings being held against her.