7 justices skip flag-raising rites with SerenoBy Marlon Ramos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines – A senior court official said the decision of the seven magistrates to skip the flag-raising ceremony Monday was “intentional” and was meant to “send a strong, cogent statement” to Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
“It’s very clear that the justices snubbed the new Chief Justice. How else would you describe that?” the court official, who asked not to be identified, told the INQUIRER.
“Their absence in the first public appearance of Sereno before the court employees was very telling. It’s a rebuff of her appointment as Chief Justice,” the source added.
The source said most of the 14 current members of the Supreme Court were questioning Sereno’s capability and experience to lead the judiciary.
“Not only did they question her leadership and management skills. Most of the justices I spoke with also doubt her knowledge of the laws,” the source added.
Two other court insiders said that the justices’ decision to give Sereno a cold shoulder was intended to “register their strong opposition to her appointment.”
“Sereno should expect that kind if treatment for the next several years,” one of the insider said.
Sought for comment, former Solicitor General Francisco Chavez said the absence of the justices was “just a tail-end of some disappointments on their part.”
“I understand they were rooting for the justices other than Sereno. That’s their disappointment and I think that the solution to this problem lies in the vastly untapped area of human relations,” Chavez said over the phone.
He, however, said the tension between Sereno and the other justices “will eventually go away and that they will be able to find ways and means to discharge their functions as a collegial body.”
Asked if he thought the justices snubbed Sereno, he said: “No. I wouldn’t say that unless this goes on for three or four times. Then I can say that it’s not only a snub, but it’s a repudiation of (Sereno’s) appointment.”