Latest Stories

Pangilinan says Corona chums making things hard for Sereno


Senator Francis Pangilinan. INQUIRER PHOTO

Senator Francis Pangilinan on Monday said magistrates associated with impeached Chief Justice Renato Corona were blocking the reforms being implemented by Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno in the judiciary.

Pangilinan said this was evidenced by the strong opposition to Sereno’s move creating a regional office in Cebu City in a bid to decentralize the judiciary.

Although he did not name anyone, Pangilinan said he was referring to “those who were associated with him (Corona) and have continued to resist reforms.”

“We support Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno’s efforts at decentralization, which I believe is the issue behind the latest controversy regarding Administrative Order No. 175-2012, or the reopening of the Regional Court Administration Office (RCAO) in Cebu City in Region VII,” said Pangilinan on the eve of the Supreme Court en banc meeting where Sereno is expected to finally face her fellow justices who had questioned the RCAO project which was not approved by the high court en banc.

The RCAO project, funded by the Asian Development Bank, underwent pilot testing in  2006 but failed, prompting the high court to scrap it during the transition period between Chief Justices Reynato Puno and Corona.

Sereno, however, revived the project “on her own” and issued the AO establishing the RCAO in Cebu City even if the procedure stipulates that this should be approved by the high court en banc, a source said.

Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo-De Castro has written a letter to Sereno demanding a recall of her order because this was contrary to the results of the Nov. 27 en banc meeting where several justices opposed the move.

De Castro insisted that only the high court en banc and the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) could rule on the reopening of the Cebu office. The OCA is headed by Midas Marquez who served as Corona’s spokesperson.

De Castro was among the magistrates who have been cool to Sereno, who include Associate Justices Antonio Carpio, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Arturo Brion, Presbitero Velasco and Martin Villarama Jr. they have shown their displeasure at her appointment by snubbing the SC flag ceremony several times.

Welfare and benefits


In reviving the RCAO project, Sereno said RCAO Cebu 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 having to go to the OCA office in Manila.

Sereno had also enumerated on the merits and desirability of having an RCAO in Cebu instead of having a centralized office.

Pangilinan agreed with Sereno, saying decentralization was the key to speeding up the resolution of court cases as mandated by the Constitution. “The concentration of powers in the national office has adversely affected the efficiency of our courts,”  he said.

But Sereno’s fellow justices objected to the Chief Justice’s move to revive the RCAO, saying this should have been approved by the high court en banc and were about to question her decision in last week’s en banc session.

But Sereno called in sick and  skipped the session, thus, averting a confrontation with her colleagues. She, however, attended the roundtable discussions of Asean chief justices on environmental law and enforcement in Malaysia.


Creation of regional courts


According to Pangilinan, Sereno’s move to decentralize the justice system was in keeping with the reforms initiated by former Chief Justices Hilario Davide Jr. and Puno who had also pushed for the creation of more regional courts to speed up the resolution of  pending cases.

“It was former Chief Justice Renato Corona who suspended the decentralization of courts during his term. I cannot help but ask if this controversy stems from the OCA  refusing to give up the powers it had enjoyed under former Chief Justice Renato Corona.  Why was it right then and wrong now?” said Pangilinan.

Pangilinan said the high court’s operations had become too centralized that “even the purchase of certain supplies and materials for the regional trial courts all throughout the country needed approval in Manila.”

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: Francis Pangilinan , Government , Judiciary , Ma. Lourdes Sereno , Politics , Renato Corona , 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. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  2. Gigi Reyes’ only option: tell all
  3. Unease in Vatican over cardinal’s luxury flat—report
  4. Santiago sees Palace hand in Gigi’s return
  5. Malaysia Airlines jet turns back after tire burst
  6. Gigi Reyes back to face charges
  7. Aquino vows to intensify anti-corruption drive further
  8. In the know: Gigi Reyes
  9. Healing priest invites political leaders to join ‘prayer for nation’
  10. ‘Malang’ next crocodile attraction after ‘Lolong’
  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. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  5. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  6. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  7. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  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. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia


  • Car hits packed US church, injuring about 20
  • LPA enters PH, to bring rains and thunderstorms
  • Sing-along saint: Showbiz world gets papal inspiration
  • Two-thirds of underwater search done, no sign of MH370
  • S. Korea prosecutors turn to mobile app for ferry probe
  • Sports

  • Reigning champs Miami open playoffs with win
  • Spurs subdue Mavericks in playoff opener
  • Wawrinka beats Federer to win Monte Carlo Masters
  • Ageless Hopkins pitches 50-50 Mayweather deal
  • Goodbye MGM, Las Vegas for Pacquiao?
  • Lifestyle

  • Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  • Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  • ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  • Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  • ‘Imports’ from London, and play of the year
  • Entertainment

  • Discovery network cancels Everest jump
  • ‘Captain America’ stays strong atop US box office
  • Easter musings
  • Solenn in shorts
  • Unmerry mix of attention-calling moves on ‘Mini-Me’ TV tilts
  • Business

  • Oil prices down in quiet Asian trade
  • Asian shares mixed in holiday-thinned trade
  • BDO seen keen on bidding for Cocobank
  • Bataan freeport investment pledges up 1,302%
  • Golden Week
  • Technology

  • PH has slowest internet in Southeast Asia
  • Nintendo’s trailblazing Game Boy marks 25th anniversary
  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Opinion

  • Gigi’s home
  • Palace stonewalls on MRT inquiry
  • Couple of things too
  • There is plenty of water behind Wawa Dam
  • Triduum thoughts of a young boy
  • Global Nation

  • Obama on mission to quiet Asia skeptics
  • Search for Etihad passengers launched
  • Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
  • OFW died of Mers-CoV in Saudi Arabia, says family
  • Marketplace