Sereno to members of judiciary: Always project independence
Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Thursday reminded members of the judiciary to be mindful of their actions that could compromise their independence.
The Chief Justice made the response to a query on her take that some Sandiganbayan and Court of Appeals justices have paid a courtesy visit to President Rodrigo Duterte in Davao City.
“We must be perceived as giving no occasion for people to doubt our independence and integrity,” Sereno said during the yearly “CJ Meets the Press” Forum held in Intramuros, Manila.
Last Aug. 4, Sandiganbayan Associate Justices Jose Hernandez, Justice Alex Quiroz, Justice Samuel Martires and Justice Geraldine Faith Ong paid a courtesy visit to the President in Davao City.
The Sandiganbayan handles cases filed against government officials. It is part of the judiciary, a branch separate from the executive which is headed by Duterte.
“For me it’s a bright red line you must not cross. My hope is our people supports the judiciary’s bid to be fully independent,” Sereno said.
The Chief Justice also pointed out that even her socialization with potential and actual litigants have been “strictly circumscribed by the need to always project independence and integrity.” RAM/rga
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