SC justice De Castro questions Sereno order reopening RCAO


Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. AP

MANILA, Philippines—The November 27 resolution allowing the reopening of the Regional Court Administration Office (RCAO) issued by Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno does not reflect the objections raised by the high court justices and should be recalled or amended, a senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court said in a memorandum addressed to Sereno.

“I regret that I have to write this Memorandum in connection with Resolution in A.M. No. 12-11-9-SC supposedly adopted by the Court en banc on Nov. 27, 2012…With due respect to the Chief Justice, to my recollection, the Resolution does not reflect the Court’s deliberation and the consensus of the Justices opposing the reopening of RCAO-7,” Senior Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo de Castro said.

In her three-page memorandum dated Dec. 3, 2012, De Castro took note of the objections raised by the high court justices, which include:

 The Chief Justice has no authority to create the Judiciary Decentralized Office which, under the Administrative Order, shall take full responsibility over the RCAO in Region 7, which was reopened without court en banc approval on Nov. 27, 2012;

 The AO of the Chief Justice cannot deprive the high court of its constitutional duty to exercise administrative supervision over all courts and their personnel and the Office of the Court Administrator  (OCA) of its statutory duty under Presidential Decree 828 to assist the Supreme Court in the exercise of said power of administrative supervision;

 An official outside OCA was designated to take charge of RCAO answerable only the Chief Justice without any guideline set by the Court en banc;

 The RCAO cannot be reopened without a pilot study. The court took note that when it was launched in 2008, it resulted in protest among judges and court personnel;

 There has to be a study showing the scope of powers of the OCA, which will be transferred to RCAO;

 The head of the Project Management Office (Judge Geraldine Faith Econg) cannot be in charge of RCAO since it is not part of her duty. At best, the high court justices said she can participate in a study to determine whether to reopen RCAO or not;

 The high court is constitutionally vested with administrative supervision of all courts and has the authority to decide whether to reopen RCAO or not;

“The resolution dated Nov. 27, 2012, ratifying the action of the Chief Justice reviving RCAO…and appointing the PMO head as officer-in-charge must be recalled or amended to faithfully reflect the deliberation of the Court en banc, particularly the objections raised against said AO,” De Castro said.

The high court was supposed to discuss the Nov. 27 resolution on Dec. 4 during its full court deliberation but Sereno called in sick and designated Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio as acting chief justice to act on her stead until she got back to work.

Sereno, in a separate letter to the high court, through her Judicial Staff head lawyer Ma. Teresa B. Sibulo assured that she will attend next week’s deliberation to discuss the Nov. 27 resolution before she flies to the US Tuesday evening.

Through Administrative Order No. 16-2008, RCAO was formally organized in 2008 by designating the key officials to run the pilot RCAO in the 7th Judicial Region (Bohol, Cebu, and Negros Oriental).

The RCAO project aims to decentralize the functions of the Office of the Court Administrator to facilitate judicial operations in major regions of the country. The pilot testing failed and the plan was eventually shelved.

Dec. 11 will be the last full court session of the Supreme Court.

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  • EdgarEdgar

    Barely half a year into her appointment as Chief Justice, Sereno has already managed to ruffle the feathers of her peers and sow discord within the collegial body. Her divisiveness stems from her authoritarian and arbitrary tendencies, exacerbated by her relative youth and lack of experience as judge. At the rate she’s carelessly antagonizing people, her colleagues will easily find a way to get her out of the way. Given the opportunity, even Antonio Carpio will not hesitate to take a stab or give her an unkind cut. Beneath those magisterial robes, the cloak and dagger continues and the tension barely contained.

    • marcos_hitler_diktador_tuta

      Dream on.

      • EdgarEdgar

        I wish it were a dream. But the tension is real enough to cause Sereno’s absence on Tuesday. Real enough to even cause tension between SC staff. So much for leadership.

  • Viktorio Ungasis Coronel

    Ganyan talaga. Kung ano an puno(penoy) ganun din ang bunga(serena) parehas pulpol. Dapat naman kasi senior justice na para di na magmumukhang amateur. ayus din si serena parang hiskul lang. pag pinatawag ng principal biglang magkakasakit. hahahaha!

  • vir_a

    She is bankrupt of leadership. Until now, she can hardly muster the respect of her colleagues in the the SC. She has remained isolated. Well, she did not get the position on to merits but by connection.

  • Palku Kha

    same feathers flock together.ganyan na ang namumuno sa bayan natin.nag sakit sakitan na dahil sa kapalpakan.incompetent appoint the incompetent.ano na ba ang nangyari sa Bansa natin!!!

  • Jon

    CJ Sereno…kwang, kwang, kwang.
    Mukhang kailangan na kailangan ninyo na ang sick leave ninyo para magpatino.

  • kilabot

    just like the rhbill, the sc is deeply divided between perverts and normal;

    No to perversion.


    Impeachable Offenses yan huh……di ba….


     kamusta na kaya si Sereno? she must be going out of her mind already…………

  • disqusted0fu

    doesnt Sereno and Aquino have some similarity in their leadership? i thought only great minds think alike… i thought wrong. apparently even unstable minds do.

  • open minded

    namimiss ko tuloy si cj corona. maling mali talaga decision…

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