Sereno defends SC official mocked by Gadon for religious belief
The office of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno has denied the claim of lawyer Larry Gadon that Sereno hired one of her staff, lawyer Jocelyn Fabian in 2013 because they were church-mates.
“The Chief Justice and Atty. Fabian do not attend the same church,” the Office of the Chief Justice (OCJ) said in a statement on Thursday.
Gadon, the complainant in Sereno’s impeachment case, mocked the religious affiliation of Sereno and her staff, calling it a “Christian-Christian effect” during a hearing at the House of Representatives on Wednesday.
“Illogical na kukuha ka na lang, basta na lang nag apply. Eh noong unang testify ni Atty. Fabian, nothing personal ha, sinabi niya na that they belong to one church—‘yun nga ‘yung Christian-Christian effect na ‘yan, ek ek,” Gadon told the House justice committee.
(It’s illogical if you just hire anyone who applies. When Atty. Facian first testified, nothing personal here, she said they belonged to one church – that Christian-Christian effect blah blah.)
Gadon alleged that Fabian, chairperson of the technical working group, delayed the resolution on the retirement and survivorship benefits of justices and judges and their spouses.
In response, the OCJ said Fabian had been a “welcome asset” not only to their office but also the judiciary as a whole, citing her experience after 29 years in the private sector.
Fabian was formerly Vice President, Operations Group Head and Acting Comptroller of Stateland, Inc. from 2011 to 2013, the Director for Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer of Far East Broadcasting Company, Inc. from 2000 to 2009, and Vice President for Finance of JS Gaisano, Inc. from 1982 to 1994, the Chief Justice’s office said.
Moreover, Fabian has been a Certified Public Accountant since 1985 and a lawyer since 2011, it added.
“Considering her background, Atty. Fabian is unquestionably highly qualified and well-equipped to assist the judiciary in the identification and resolution of its financial concerns,” the OCJ said.
“Her unshakable faith and obedience to the Lord’s guidance have allowed her to contribute tirelessly to the study, implementation and institutionalization of much needed systemic changes of a 117-year old institution,” it stressed.
Fabian was also part of missionary staff for the Philippine Campus Crusade for Christ, the Chief Justice’s office added.
“It is thus a grave matter of concern that her integrity and values – and even her Christian faith – are being unjustly besmirched,” it said.
According to Sereno’s office, Fabian applied for a position in August 25, 2012, and that she was interviewed on February 6, 2013 by Sereno’s three chiefs of office.
“There were two applicants for the Court Attorney vacancy at the time, and Atty. Fabian was found to be more qualified,” the Chief Justice’s office said.
“After favorable recommendation of the interviewing panel, and a final interview at which the Chief Justice met Atty. Fabian for the first time, Atty. Fabian was appointed in May 2013,” it added. /je
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