Leonen takes SC seat, asks for patience


Associate Justice Marvic Leonen. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

New Associate Justice Marvic Leonen was warmly received by his colleagues on his first day in the Supreme Court, including the associate justice he had once asked to resign for alleged plagiarism.

Leonen, joined by eight other justices during the  flag-raising ceremony on the court grounds, asked the  officials and personnel of the high tribunal to “please be patient with me as I learn the ropes through this institution.”

Fresh from his job as the government’s chief negotiator in the peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Leonen said he hoped that after working with the “daang matuwid” policy of the Aquino administration, “my words and that of my colleagues can best exemplify what it can be to have a real government for our people.”

Leonen took the occasion to express his gratitude to the people who helped him “to be what I am” and that included people he had served, from farmers to the Bangsamoro in Mindanao.

“Let me say that I know my place. I know that I need to participate in a collective effort in this department of our government, and it is key work that matters … it is the ability to seek a common vision of what our country can be,” he said.

After his  speech, Leonen shook hands with Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno and the other associate justices, including Roberto Abad, Jose Mendoza, Jose Perez, Presbitero Velasco, Martin Villarama, Arturo Brion and Mariano del Castillo.

The gesture between Leonen and Del Castillo was interesting considering the former had led a group  of University of the Philippines College of Law professors in calling for the latter’s resignation following allegations he had plagiarized parts of his decision in a case involving comfort women.

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  • carlcid

    I guess Leonen won’t be as batty as the Chief Justice.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WYX4ZTAV4BUGW2RIMT45CPYBGA Pio Gante

    katabi lang nila ang pgh, doon maraming patience.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GEL5M676WZ7BLFR4SNH66WKRZM Bigboy I

    leonen cannot ask for patience your not the administrator sereno is. 

    • http://twitter.com/neps365 Prince Neps

      bigboy with pigeon-size brain. think before you click. 

  • kilabot

    the gay lion takes his seat among noble crooks.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OHOD5EA75DBBUH53UKLRXRK764 Mang Teban

    President Aquino did not use his head about appointing a neophyte in the Supreme Court. Marvic Leonen was able to impress the president with a work-in-progress Framework Agreement.

    Two things the president forgot to take into account when he appointed Leonen to the SC:

    (1) Marvic Leonen is the architect of the Bangsamoro tentative peace agreement. He is still needed to go into the detailed work to make the F.A. come into fruition. When Congress calls for his first-hand views and to answer questions “in aid of legislation” as the F.A. needs a law to support it, Leonen is prohibited to appear in Congress as he is already with the Supreme Court. So, any replacement of Leonen is someone who is not well-versed into the nitty-gritty details on how the F.A. was crafted. It also does not look right for him to sit at the highest tribunal should a question on the constitutionality of the F.A. is brought to the attention of the Supreme Court. He would have to inhibit himself from the deliberations and from the voting by the SC justices.

    (2) Marvic Leonen, just like Maria Lourdes Sereno, is a “hostile” colleague in the SC. His active participation in calling for the resignation of a currently sitting SC justice does not speak well about creating an atmosphere of openness and collective wisdom. By any standard, the presence of these two justices, Leonen and Sereno, as newcomers lacking in experience in actual trial process and hearing litigants as a judge will be met with a cautious stance from the more seasoned justices. Leonen does not have the luxury of time to study how to become an SC justice because there are many cases pending and will be coming in to the highest tribunal. 

    The culture of appointing a judge or justice in the Judiciary by the Executive Branch of our government needs to be re-examined if such is appropriate and productive. A chief justice who can take her sweet time for 18 years alone is a damper for the other SC justices and future SC justices, young as they may be, who have also aspirations to become the chief justice. She can also set back efforts by some quarters to reform the Judiciary with her rumored tantrums.

    A president who does not listen to the well-meaning advice of retired justices and from the academe and loves to set “firsts” like appointing the first lady chief justice and the youngest associate justice, both inexperienced and unwieldy in jurisprudence, is the rationale that the system of appointing needs to be revisited and given thorough thought if there is wisdom at all for the president to be involved in selection process of judges and justices. I think that the Judiciary should be given a free hand to appoint its members with the alliance from the academe and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, all of whom are professional lawyers and law practitioners who are in the best position to select the brightest and most qualified judges and justices, not out of perceptions and first impressions by the current appointing power, the president of this country. Something should tell  us that this should not happen again with the future appointments of judges and justices that a president has the sole power to pick his personal choices. P-Noy has made up his mind even before the Judicial Bar Council convene to process the applications for the SC chief justice and SC associate justice vacancies. It was so painfully obvious, was it not?

    • juan_tanga

      ay t@nga!

      bisitahin mo na lang nanay mo sa veterans!

      mga salot kayo sa lipunan!

    • 123pinoy_ako

      Associate Justice Leonen was included in the list chose by the JBC for that position. The president only chose from that list. If Marvic Leonen was not capable to be an associate justice of the sc, blame the JBC then. And why your so called “well-meaning advice of retired justices and from the academe” did not convince the JBC to exclude justice leonen if they believed he is too raw for that position?? Just move on Mang Teban and give Justice Leonen his time to prove his worth. After all he was already chosen.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BL2GYU35SO6HTJUEAUTXS3QFYM George Lapulapu

    Congratulations Justice Leonen

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