Human rights lawyer named info chief of SC

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12:07 PM December 15th, 2012

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By: Jerome Aning, December 15th, 2012 12:07 PM

MANILA, Philippines—Human rights lawyer Theodore Te has been appointed as the new chief of the public information office of the Supreme Court.

Te’s appointment was relayed to reporters by a justice who asked not to be named, adding that Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno was expected to formally announce the appointment in the next few days, most likely at Monday’s flag-raising ceremony.

Te is a member of the Free Legal Assistance Group. He also teaches criminal and remedial law at the University of the Philippines-College of Law. He also writes opinion pieces on the InterAksyon news website.

Sereno earlier appointed Ateneo de Manila University School of Government dean Antonio La Viña as PIO consultant.

The PIO’s primary task, according to the court’s website, “is to disseminate, as promptly and as widely as possible, news about the Supreme Court and its decisions and provide the public with judicial information in a manner that the general public can easily comprehend.”

The current acting spokesperson of the Supreme Court and acting PIO chief is lawyer Ma. Victoria Gleoresty Guerra.

In recent years, the PIO chief also served as spokesperson for the Supreme Court. On some occasions he was also authorized to speak for the Chief Justice, for individual justices, for the majority justices who issued a decision on a case, or for the judicial department.

The PIO chief is coterminous with the Chief Justice.

Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez served as PIO chief until the ouster of Chief Justice Renato Corona early this year.

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