Aquino made right choice in Sereno, MBC chief says

by Jojo Malig,

Posted at Aug 25 2012 12:52 AM | Updated as of Aug 27 2012 02:40 PM

MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino made the right decision in appointing new Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, a business leader said Friday.

Makati Business Club (MBC) chairman Ramon Del Rosario, in an interview with ANC, said Aquino chose a reform-oriented person to implement changes in the judiciary.

"I think the President exercised his prerogative for deep selection by choosing someone who is clearly a reform-oriented person, someone who has a reputation for being not only independent-minded but also a person of impeccable integrity," he said.

Del Rosario cited Aquino's "daang matuwid" (righteous road) campaign against graft and corruption and inefficiency in government.

"The president made the right choice," he said.

The MBC chief said one of Sereno's biggest challenges is to restore the people's faith in the justice system.

"The challenge is very clear. The trial of the former chief justice divided the country and put to a test the faith of the people in the judiciary," he said.

"I think that, she can accomplish by focusing on the need for accountability, transparency, the  equal dispensation of justice and... the need to speed up the dispensation of justice, the whole process so that justice is no longer as badly delayed as it has been through the decades," he added.

He believes that Sereno has both the ability, the character and time to improve the judiciary.

Sereno, 52, will head the judiciary for 18 years.

"She has a long period to do it. She clearly can make her stamp. We're very hopeful," he said.

"It could turn out to be one of the best appointments ever," he added.

Faster justice system

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) also hopes that the new chief justice can speed up the disposition of cases and reduce reversals.

"We want justice to be speedier than now, speedier and fair and not reversing itself. We want consistency," PCCI official Ed Lacson said.

Proceedings that last for years, or even decades, and so-called flip-flops have been a consistent complaint of the business sector.

Lacson also said businessmen are more focused on the court as an institution rather than the personalities.

"We're not very concerned who is chief justice. We view the courts as an institution," he said.

He hopes that Sereno will back programs that will hasten decisions.

"She leads by example and leads a simple lifestyle along with her husband and children. She is still young and will help the country," Lacson said

Management Association of the Philippines president Ed Francisco also praised the selection.

He said Sereno's youth could be an advantage. - with ANC