Judges, court workers plead: Respect SC ruling ousting CJ
Lower court judges and court personnel on Monday rallied behind the Supreme Court justices for handing down the decison that unseated Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
The court workers, led by the Supreme Court Employees Association (Scea), also appealed for calm and urged the public to respect the tribunal’s May 11 decision granting Solicitor General Jose Calida’s quo warranto petition against Sereno.
Many of the judges and court employees again wore red when they attended the regular flag-raising ceremony held at the high court’s compound on Padre Faura Street in Manila.
“The interpretation and application of the Constitution, laws and rules exclusively belong to the Supreme Court,” the court personnel said in a joint statement read by Scea president Erwin Ocson.
“This is the real essence of judicial independence,” they said. “And the justices of the court must be free to decide impartially, in accordance with proven facts and applicable law.”
Apart from Ocson, the joint statement was signed by the heads of the Philippine Judges Association, the Supreme Court Assembly of Lawyer Employees and the Philippine Association of Court Employees.
Seven magistrates, led by acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio, were present at the weekly event, which the court workers used as a venue to press for Sereno’s resignation while the tribunal was still deliberating on Calida’s petition.
Also present were Associate Justices Presbiterio Velasco Jr., Noel Tijam, Samuel Martires, Andres Reyes Jr., Teresita Leonardo-de Castro and Mariano del Castillo.
Tijam, Martires, Reyes and De Castro were among the eight justices who voted to oust Sereno, while Carpio, Del Castillo and Velasco joined three other justices in opposing the majority decision.
The court personnel had accused Sereno of disregarding their concerns, including the delay in the promotions of some of them.
“Let’s respect and accept the decision of the Supreme Court and its would-be decision in (Sereno’s) motion for reconsideration,” they said. “Let’s abide by the rule of law.”
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