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Justices making a mockery of the Constitution

/ 05:02 AM May 30, 2019

Something about “public service” in this country can really make one’s blood boil. Amid all the hardship among the vast majority of taxpayers who can barely make both ends meet, government officials have no qualms about making a mockery of the Constitution that states “public office is a public trust,” and treating the national treasury as their own bank accounts.

The article, “CJ Bersamin among highest-paid government officials” (5/23/19), caught our attention right away. He was said to have been paid almost P11 million as a member of the Supreme Court in 2018 alone.

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That is almost P1 million per month in salaries, benefits, honoraria, allowances, bonuses, incentives, discretionary and miscellaneous expenses! Presumably, all the other members of that court received about as much or slightly less.

Bersamin was appointed Chief Justice by President Duterte in November 2018 and is due to retire in less than a year (October 2019). Guess how obscenely enormous his retirement package will be by then?

This brings to mind the case of recently retired justice Teresita de Castro, who hungered for the top post so much she had no problem sitting as Chief Justice even for only a few weeks.

And what have their “Honors” to show for such mind-blowing compensation?

As usual, justice delayed, justice denied.  Even lawyer Estelito Mendoza could not help decry their seeming lack of dedication or plain laziness (“Turtle pace of cases in the SC,” 5/3/19).

We tend to agree with another letter-writer who suggested that salaries or retirement benefits should be withheld from those with a huge backlog of unresolved cases (“Penalize retiring justices if they fail to resolve cases,” 5/7/19).

RAMON NORMAN TORREFRANCA

[email protected]

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TAGS: 1987 Constitution, Inquirer letters, Lucas Bersamin, Ramon Norman Torrefranca, Supreme Court
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