MANILA - As Associate Justice Ramon Paul Hernando joined his first flag raising ceremony as member of the Supreme Court on Monday, the newly-appointed magistrate said he is happy to be back to where it all started.
“[I]t has been a full circle for me. Inikot ko na po itong mga opisina sa Padre Faura (I have been to all offices in Padre Faura). And I feel so happy to be back in the place where I started it all. This is where my professional life started,” he told SC employees and fellow justices on Monday morning.
Hernando said he began his legal career in 1991 as staff of Justice Edgardo Paras and later on, of Justice Florenz Regalado, serving until their retirement.
He then spent 5 years as state prosecutor at the Department of Justice before being appointed regional trial court judge in 2003.
He was appointed to the Court of Appeals in February 2010, among the last appointees of then President and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
As he spoke before SC employees for the first time, Hernando paused briefly before reflecting on his career.
“Medyo emotional lang. (I'm a bit emotional.) It’s so hard to think that I could reach the same level as my idols. So that makes me extremely nervous because I have to measure up to all the immense expectations of our justices in the high court and also of our people. My only prayer is that I will be able to really measure up to all our people’s expectations.”
He thanked God and President Rodrigo Duterte for the opportunity to serve in the High Court.
At only 52, Hernando will stay in the Supreme Court for 18 years until his retirement in August 2036.
“I really hope and I really pray that those 18 years will be most productive and very fruitful and significant,” he said.
“Magkikita po tayong palagi sa flag ceremony and all the weekdays,” he added.
(Let's see each other always at the flag ceremony and all the weekdays.)