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CJ Bersamin leaves SC with no regrets

/ 07:27 PM October 14, 2019
CJ Bersamin leaves SC with no regrets

Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin receives military honors on the occassion of his last official attendance to the SC flag ceremony. Photo courtesy of SC Public Information Office

MANILA, Philippines — Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin on Monday said he would leave the judiciary with no regrets.

“I have always endeavored to be true to my oath of office and have always discharged my duties and responsibilities in the best lights that God has endowed me with,” Bersamin said before officials and employees of the Supreme Court.

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The high court has been at the receiving end of criticism following its pro-Duterte votes on key issues such as the Marcos burial, dismissal of plunder case against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, justifying the arrest and continued detention of Sen. Leila de Lima.

Bersamin earlier said that the high court could only decide cases based on their reading of the law and existing jurisprudence.

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“Do I now have a better way of putting it except to say that I have faithfully served the people conscientiously, discharged my office and dutifully fulfilled their trust,” he said.

Bersamin said that to finally be leaving the Supreme Court after more than a decade in it and the judiciary of which he has been a part for more than 30 years gave him mixed emotions

“As that moment draws near, I experienced a deep sense of personal satisfaction, no regrets but this address brings to me mixed emotion. Half of me is happy, the other half is sad, sad because I am leaving this place and bidding farewell to this community that has been my home for over a decade,” he said.

But he said he could not have done all those things if not for the support and cooperation of his colleagues and court employees.

CJ Bersamin leaves SC with no regrets

Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin bids goodbye to SC officials and employees during his last flag ceremony a few days before bowing out of the Judiciary. Photo courtesy of SC Public Information Office

For his last flag ceremony, the high court rolled out the red carpet. Bersamin was also greeted by a military honor guard as well as cheering officials and employees of the SC who paid tribute to him.

Bersamin’s fellow magistrates were also in attendance, save for Associate Justice Jose Reyes Jr. who is out of the country.

After the flag ceremony, Bersamin received a plaque of appreciation from the SC Program on Awards and Incentives for Service Excellence Committee for his services to the judiciary.

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His mandatory retirement is on Oct. 18.

He said: “Between this morning and my actual retirement, I shall be in my office daily, completing all the tasks that remain to be accomplished. All I ask as I exit from service in the judiciary is just as forthright as that, nothing more.”

“Continue doing your assigned tasks and work but please be constant in your loyalty to the judiciary as our institution and be steadfast in your fealty to the letter and spirit of the Constitution and to the rule of law,” he added.

Bersamin served as the chief justice for 11 months after being appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte to take the post of then-Chief Justice Teresita Leonardo De Castro.

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TAGS: chief justice, Lucas Bersamin, Supreme Court
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