MANILA, Philippines—Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno on Wednesday insisted the Supreme Court was united despite reports that senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio had questioned her appointment of a staff member who was still reporting to the University of the Philippines law faculty.
“Everyone, of course, is united,” Sereno told reporters when asked if the 15-member high court was united following the controversy of her appointment of Solomon Lumba as chief staff head 2 when he has not yet severed his ties with UP.
Interviewed before she led groundbreaking ceremonies of the new tower of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) in Ortigas, Pasig City, the Chief Justice dodged questions on Carpio’s letter to her which reportedly stated his decision to withdraw his signature to the appointment of Lumba in November last year when he learned the latter was still connected with the UP Law faculty.
Lumba had already issued a statement last Monday, saying he was taking steps to “forego” his tenure at UP as he assured he was no longer teaching law since he assumed his new job at the high court in November last year.
In her speech before the IBP event, Sereno underscored the need for the IBP and those in the legal profession to have “strength of focus” and “endurance” in dealing with their profession “despite all your differences of opinions and persuasions.”—Christine O. Avendaño