MANILA - Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Wednesday urged judges to focus on their work and disregard political noise aimed towards her ouster, confident that the truth is on her side.
In a gathering of the Philippine Trial Judges League in Palo, Leyte, Sereno called on members of the judiciary to “stay true to their oaths” and stay out of politics.
“I know that, ultimately, such political maneuverings can only erode our branch of government in the long-term, however gratifying it may be at the moment. I have no interest in feeding my ego,” she said in her remarks, a copy of which was released to the media.
In her most substantial comments yet on the impeachment case against her, Sereno said she is not bothered as the truth is "on her side."
“To tell you the truth, I do not feel as embattled as the news stories may portray me to be,” she said.
“I am like this because I know that the truth is on my side. And in a time of constant spin, when narratives are coopted to serve the personal agenda of a few, the truth is our bedrock,” she added.
Sereno reiterated that she has been honest in her work as chief magistrate and believes that the impeachment complaint against her will not succeed.
“Alam kong hindi ako nagsinungaling, hindi ako nandaya, hindi ako nanlamang ng kapwa, at ginawa ko nang tama ang trabaho ko bilang Punong Mahistrado," Sereno said.
"I have enough faith in the truth to sleep soundly at night; I have enough faith in our people, and in our democratic systems, to know that narratives built on lies will eventually crumble,” she added.
The Chief Justice is currently facing impeachment at the House of Representatives after the complaint filed by lawyer Larry Gadon was declared sufficient in form, substance and grounds, paving the way for the determination of probable cause.
The complaint stemmed from several accusations, including Sereno's alleged lavish lifestyle and non-disclosure of fees she received as government counsel in a high-profile case in her 2010 Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth.
The Chief Justice told trial court judges that the “greatest demonstration of support” they can give her was to “work hard, work with integrity, be honest in all your dealings, and defend the Constitution as we all swore to do.”
“Remain steadfast in the conduct of your duties; zone out of politics, and decide on your cases with openness, sobriety, and fairness,” she said.
“All I ask is that tomorrow, you wake up and resolve to do the best, most honest, fairest work that you can do, and again the day after that, and again the day after that. There is nothing more that a Chief Justice can ask of you,” she added.