MANILA - Newly appointed Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin believes a "new beginning" awaits the Supreme Court as he takes over the leadership of the judiciary.
In his first flag ceremony as top judge, Bersamin urged Supreme Court employees to forget about the issues that hounded the office in the past months as they are already "irrelevant."
"Wala na tayong dapat isipin tungkol sa nakaraan, at 'yung nakaraan na 'yan ay irrelevant na. This is a new beginning. We will have continuity," the Chief Justice said in a speech.
Bersamin replaced former Chief Justice Teresita Leonardo De Castro who took the leadership role after the Supreme Court ousted Maria Lourdes Sereno.
He admitted that he may not be the most senior member of the Supreme Court but said he is bringing with him more than 3 decades of experience in the judiciary.
Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, who acted as chief justice during the selection process, is the most senior member of the Supreme Court.
"Maaaring may mas matanda sa 'kin na nakaupo ngayon. But at age 69, I can look back and tell you that I have 32 years behind me in this business," Bersamin said.
Meanwhile, high court employees welcomed their new leader with multi-colored balloons and banners during the weekly ceremony at the Supreme Court grounds.
Bersamin also asked the Supreme Court employees to welcome, love and support him during his 11-month stint as leader of the judiciary as he recognizes that the job will not be easy.
"Wala akong maipapangako sa inyo kundi ang ipagpatuloy ko ang paninilibihan with all sincerity in my heart. I intend also to address our persistent problems in the lower courts," he said.
"I ask you to welcome me, to love me, to support me, to help me in my 11 months. Maikli lang 'yan pagbigyan niyo na po ako," Bersamin added.
He also urged the employees to be vocal in their suggestions as his office will always be open to anyone who has recommendations on the judiciary's problems.
The new Chief Justice has appointed Court Administrator Midas Marquez as concurrent SC spokesman. Marquez was also SC spokesman during the terms of Chief Justices Reynato Puno and Renato Corona.
--reports from Johnson Manabat and Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News