Sereno: ‘Be thankful and happy’
“Be thankful and happy.”
This was Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno’s message to the officials and employees of the Supreme Court (SC) during their Christmas party on Friday.
In her speech, the Chief Magistrate also enumerated various reforms implemented in the judiciary, including the E-court and continuous trial systems.
“Napakadami na natin nagawang projects sa Halls of Justice. Nagkaroon na po tayo ng small claims (court) na tuwang-tuwa ang mga tao dahil in 24 hours may mga decisions na po, and then the continuous trial [system],” Sereno said.
[We have implemented a lot of projects in the Halls of Justice. We now have the small claims (court) that is highly appreciated by many because in 24 hours there are already decisions, and then the continuous trial (system).]
Sereno added that by the end of 2017, 294 courts nationwide would already become electronic by employing the E-court system.
The E-courts, as a case management system, records all incidents in an information database that shows the age of each case and highlights pending incidents that require action.
It also notifies judges of deliverables and deadlines, alerts them about priority old cases, and provides them with templates for orders and decisions to allow them to immediately hand down verdicts after the hearing, and ultimately reduce case backlogs.
“Madami na pong reforms. Kaunti lang yang sinasabi ko kasi quiet kami…Trabaho tayo ng trabaho…Hindi po nila alam, madami ang hindi na nakakaalam madami na tayo nagagawa,” Sereno said.
[We have so many reforms. What I told you now are just a few because we are working quietly. We only work. Many do not know about the reforms that we have already instituted here (in the judiciary).]
“Marami na tayong kelangang ipagmalaki sa buong bansa and I hope buong Justice sector ay susunod sa atin,” Sereno said referring to the Department of Justice and the police.
[There are many things we have done that we can be proud of and I hope the entire Justice sector will follow suit.]
She lauded not only the SC officials but also its employees for their effort and cooperation.
She said all SC justices are committed to institute more reforms and policies that would benefit ordinary court employees.
“It gives me great pleasure to announce that we will keep on creating incentives for the Judiciary for this kind of performance. You deserve everything that you are going to get this month and for the months to come because so much output has been produced indeed,” Sereno said.
While she did not make a direct comment about the impeachment case, she told the employees to focus on facts instead of rumors.
“Instead na chismis, andaming pwedeng i-kuwento,” Sereno said.
She also claimed that for five straight years, the SC, under her watch, has not received a notice of disallowance from the Commission on Audit.
“Our financial standards are the best, our outputs are the best,” Sereno said adding that these are the stories that should be told the public.
“Because of our successes, we have to have contentment in our hearts…and with that, we should always be thankful and happy,” Sereno said.
“Let us all say thank you Lord, praise the Lord…We work with pride, with honor, with dignity. I am very happy to be with you and I am so glad that we will have a fantastic year ahead,” an optimistic Sereno said.
Sereno along with Associate Justices Estela Perlas-Bernabe and Mariano Del Castillo, and Philippine Judicial Academy Chancellor Adolf Azcuna danced with employees to songs played by the live band during the SC Christmas bash.
Aside from Perlas-Bernabe and Del Castillo, Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta was also at the Christmas party. However, he opted to stay at the back to watch the performance of his twin sons. He sat beside Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez.
Del Castillo and Peralta are expected to testify at the House justice committee hearing on the impeachment complaint against Sereno.
Marquez, along with Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo De Castro, Francis Jardeleza, Noel Tijam have already testified at the House panel hearing. /kga
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