Justices skip flag ceremony with Sereno for third timeBy Tetch Torres
MANILA, Philippines—For the third time since Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno assumed the judiciary’s top post, senior justices of the Supreme Court were absent during Monday’s flag ceremony.
Only Associate Justices Mariano Del Castillo, Roberto Abad, Jose Perez, Jose Mendoza, Bienvenido Reyes and Estela Perlas Bernabe showed up during the ceremony.
Absent yet again were the six most senior Associate Justices of the Supreme Court Antonio Carpio, Presbitero Velasco Jr., Teresita Leonardo De Castro, Arturo Brion, Diosdado Peralta and Lucas Bersamin.
Associate Justice Martin Villarama was also absent.
High Court employees who refused to be identified, however said Sereno cannot compel the other justices to attend flag raising rites which she herself rarely attended prior to her appointment as Chief Justice.
“She rarely attends flag ceremony and even masses,” employees said.
Sereno is the third most junior justice of the Supreme Court and her appointment as Chief Justice bypassed 11 senior justices, breaking the tradition that seniority should take precedence in the judiciary.
Some sectors, however said that her appointment is an opportunity to create change and to thoroughly reform the judiciary.