Latest Stories

Sereno ruling on ADB-funded project roils SC justices

By ,

Supreme Court Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno. AP

Supreme Court Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno on Wednesday skipped the tribunal’s full court session reportedly to avoid a showdown with fellow justices over her decision to revive a project funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) that the SC scrapped a few years ago.

Sereno had reportedly “revived on her own” the project establishing a Regional Court Administration Office (RCAO) in Cebu even if the procedure stipulates that this should be approved by the high court en banc.

A well-placed source told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that Sereno’s action displeased other justices who were bent on questioning her decision at Wednesday’s en banc (full court) session.

However, Sereno called in sick.

“The justices decided to give her another chance and would tackle this with her at next week’s en banc session,” the source, who requested anonymity, told the Inquirer.

According to the source, the Supreme Court en banc has guidelines on how to open an RCAO but Sereno allegedly did not follow this.

The source said the RCAO-7 project was supported and funded by the ADB.

The project underwent pilot testing in 2006 but failed, prompting the Supreme Court to scrap it altogether during the transition period between then Chief Justices Reynato Puno and Renato Corona.

Since she began her 18-year tenure at the high court four months ago, there is still some resistance to the leadership of Sereno from among her colleagues and the latest controversy rocking her court was an indication of this resistance.

Barely a week ago, Sereno had proudly told an alumni homecoming of San Beda law students that she had come to the gathering straight from the airport after coming from Cebu City to launch a newly-opened RCAO there, an issue now at the center of controversy at the high court.

The Chief Justice told the Nov. 29 gathering at the Manila Polo Club in Makati City that the RCAO would be for “the welfare and benefit” of judges in the Visayas who could now file leave applications and other benefits and process them there without going to the court administrator’s office in Manila, according to an Inquirer source who attended the event.

Sereno had remarked on the merits and desirability of having such an office instead of having a centralized office, said the source who found it a “good” and “reasonable” policy.

But at that time, the source said Sereno did not say at the event whether the opening  of the office had an “en banc imprimatur”  which some of the 15-member high tribunal were now reportedly insisting was needed but which the Chief Justice had allegedly not done.

The angry justices were supposed to confront Sereno in the regular Tuesday en banc session the other day. But the Chief Justice called in sick, the first time since being appointed by President Aquino in August as replacement for Renato Corona, who was ousted by a Senate impeachment court in May.

SC public information chief and lawyer Gleo Guerra said that Sereno had been advised by her doctors to take a rest because she has the flu.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Government , Judiciary , Ma. Lourdes Sereno , Supreme Court

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Gigi Reyes back to face charges
  2. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  3. In the know: Gigi Reyes
  4. SC suspends proctor in 2011 bar exams
  5. Senator Pimentel backs German think tank’s stand vs dynasties
  6. Bar proctor suspended for photographing test papers
  7. Collector Danny Garcia says Inquirer worth more than news
  8. Meteor shower to light up PH skies
  9. What Went Before: Enrile denies Gigi Reyes was ‘other woman’
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  7. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  10. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  8. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  9. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia


  • Militants kill 14 Algerian soldiers in ambush
  • Pope Francis, huge crowd joyously celebrate Easter
  • 4 French journalists freed from Syria captors home
  • Thousands celebrate Easter in Holy Land
  • Transcript reveals confusion over ferry evacuation
  • Sports

  • Red-hot Alaska rips injury-depleted San Mig Coffee
  • Pacquiao courtesy call to Aquino set for Monday
  • Nick Calathes suspension a reminder of supplement risk
  • Teague scores 28 as Hawks soar past Pacers in Game 1
  • Warriors beat Clippers in playoff opener
  • Lifestyle

  • Angono petroglyphs in danger of disappearing
  • Britain’s baby Prince George visits Australian zoo
  • Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  • Simplifying and lightening life
  • Where to go for Easter night-out
  • Entertainment

  • Show-biz celebrities’ other choices of summer getaway
  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Business

  • Top-selling insurance agent opens her dream café
  • Connecting and transacting with one another
  • Building wealth for health
  • Why Mandaue Foam buys, rather than rents, space
  • A workplace of new possibilities
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
  • OFW died of Mers-CoV in Saudi Arabia, says family
  • Aquino, Obama to tackle US pivot to Asia during state visit
  • Asia seeks Obama’s assurance in territorial spats
  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders
  • Marketplace