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De Castro believes she can help reform judiciary even with barely 2 months left to serve

Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo De Castro

Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo De Castro believed that she can still help reform the judiciary even with barely two months left to serve.

“It is not as if I will start today,” De Castro told members of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) Thursday during the public interview of chief justice aspirants.

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De Castro, who was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2007, said her first priority is to reorganize the Ethics and Ethical Standards Committee which is part of the Supreme Court’s Internal Rules.

She said the committee handles the complaints against justices. However, she said the committee was never reorganized after the impeachment of the late Chief Justice Renato Corona.

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After Corona, appointed Chief Justice was Maria Lourdes Sereno, who was ousted via quo warranto proceedings last May but the decision only  became final in June.

“There must be a grievance machinery in the Supreme Court so we can discipline our own,” she said.

Aside from that, De Castro mentioned about further improving the case management system.

“We can already put the information; communication technology in place…these projects will continue even after I retire from service,” she said, adding that these projects started since she was appointed part of the reform management committee by Sereno herself.

She said by further improving that already ongoing reforms initiated, she is confident that her colleagues will not give her a difficult time.

“They have always supported my recommendations, not only in judicial but also in administrative matters. I do not see any reason why they will not support me now,” she added.

JBC members Senator Richard Gordon and retired Associate Justice Jose Mendoza commended De Castro. Both said De Castro is competent and has impeccable credentials.

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JBC interview is still ongoing.   /vvp

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