Palace supports Sereno position vs media interviewsBy TJ Burgonio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Malacañang on Wednesday backed Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno’s announcement to shun media interviews and speak to the public in the traditional way—through her rulings.
“The dignified silence has always been the position taken by the gods of Padre Faura and it has always been stated not only in this country but also in the United States that they are better heard through their decisions,” Secretary Edwin Lacierda told reporters in Malacañang.
After all, what’s important to the public is how the Supreme Court justices interpret the laws in the rulings that they hand down, Lacierda said in a briefing.
“That, I think, is the best megaphone that they can have,” he said.
On assuming office Tuesday, Sereno declared she would return to the old practice of justices to speak through their decisions and resolutions, dashing any hopes for an interview with the chief magistrate who was embarking on a historic 18-year reign.
Wisdom dictated that she would bring the Supreme Court back to its “days of dignified silence,” where the magistrates spoke through their writings and the court’s actions “were best seen in their collective resolutions,” she said.
Malacañang also welcomed Sereno’s decision to disclose her statement of assets, liabilities and net worth from the time she was appointed associate justice in August 2010.
“It was good that Chief Justice Sereno decided to open up her SALN to the public,” Lacierda said.
In her first en banc session as Chief Justice last Tuesday, Sereno informed the other justices about her plan to fully disclose her wealth.
Lacierda, however, acknowledged that it would be up to the entire court to decide whether to institutionalize this.
“I think that’s an en banc decision or a decision to be decided by the Supreme Court justices. And, again, that’s another branch of government and as far as we are concerned, as far as the Executive branch is concerned, we have always done, we have always disclosed our SALN,” he said.
Aquino, who picked Sereno over senior justices and administered her oath last Saturday, had assured her of the country’s full backing if challenges come her way.
Sereno, 52, also reorganized the three high court divisions effective September 3.