The tiff between lawmakers and Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno is heating up. Both sides should temper the rhetoric lest they lock themselves into unreasonable positions that betray the spirit of the law they purport to uphold. We all lose when the constitutional fabric is frayed and sacrosanct principles are cheapened in the harsh exchange. The lawmakers have been counseled thus. The same counsel should be extended to Sereno.
When it finally came down, the Supreme Court decision on the controversial reproductive health case had something for both parties.
By Virgilio P. Alconera
Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno was reported as “encouraging lawyers who seem to know about, and have been discussing in ‘hushed tones,’ the corrupt practices of ‘hoodlums in robes’ to blow the whistle on these judges” (“Expose corrupt judges, Sereno urges lawyers,” Second Front Page, 9/27/13).
At a recent forum, Securities and Exchange Commission chair Teresita Herbosa, an aspirant to a Supreme Court seat, expressed optimism that under the stewardship of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, decisions of the courts will henceforth “be based on the merits…” (Inquirer, 9/20/12) She obviously believes in the new chief justice’s moral ascendancy, springing from the latter’s deep faith in God, to inspire such hope. Indeed, to paraphrase US Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, the merits of the case provide a clear guide to predicting how courts will decide cases. That is a desideratum anyone should be able to take to the bank!
By Rina Jimenez-David
Fifty years after the retirement from the judiciary of Natividad Almeda-Lopez, who blazed a trail in Philippine history as the first woman judge, the first woman justice of the Court of Appeals, and one of the foremost leaders of the feminist movement here, we now see her pioneering work culminating in the appointment of the first woman Chief Justice, Maria Lourdes Sereno.