No arbitrary issuance of administration orders – Sereno
Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno did not arbitrarily issue an administrative order that created the Regional Court Administrative Office (RCAO) in Central Visayas in 2012, one of her spokespersons said on Wednesday.
“It is false to say that the Chief Justice acted unilaterally and without the knowledge of [the full court] when she issued [the order],” the spokesperson, lawyer Jojo Lacanilao, said in a statement.
Gadon’s claims ‘baseless’
Lacanilao dismissed as “baseless” the claims of lawyer Lorenzo Gadon, pointing out that the full court did not issue any order that voided the Nov. 27, 2012, resolution that cleared the way for the establishment of an RCAO in Region 7 (Central Visayas).
Gadon is the complainant in the impeachment case against Sereno in the House of Representatives.
Lacanilao said the formation of the RCAO, the hiring of personnel for it and its budgetary allocation had been approved by the justices in previous resolutions.
“The Chief Justice, after studying the problems besetting far-flung courts, simply implemented these earlier [full-court resolutions] creating an RCAO in the seventh judicial region,” he said.
RCAO and Judiciary Decentralized Office (JDO) are the same, Lacanilao said.
“They are different only by name. An office is defined by its duties, functions and purposes rather than the person assigned to lead it or by the name which it carries,” Lacanilao said.
Although Administrative Order (AO) No. 175-2012 issued by the Chief Justice on Nov. 9, 2012, “refers to the Judiciary Decentralized Office, she was not creating a new office, she was referring to RCAO-7,” Lacanilao said.
“This is clear from the AO No. 175-2012 itself, which designates the head of the JDO pursuant to En Banc Resolution of the Court in A.M. No. 06-11-09-SC dated 14 November 2006, which had created the RCAO-7,” he said.
“Furthermore, according to the AO No. 175-2012, the “role, authority and responsibility of the JDO head shall be in accordance with En Banc Resolution in A.M. No. 06-12-06-SC dated 18 March 2008, as amended on 11 November 2008,” he said.
Ratified CJ’s action
Lacanilao said the full-court resolution dated Nov. 27, 2012, “is clear that what it ratified was the action of the Chief Justice—‘to revive the Regional Court Administration Office in Region 7.’”
He said even Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro’s Dec. 3, 2012, letter to the Chief Justice itself “expresses the court’s supposed consensus on the JDO as a consensus ‘opposing the reopening of RCAO-7.’”
The full-court resolution dated Nov. 27, 2012, was “superseded” by full-court resolution No. 12-11-9-SC dated Jan. 22, 2013, “which created the Needs Assessment Committee,” he said.
“But nowhere in this resolution did the Supreme Court en banc expressly revoke the En Banc Resolution dated 27 November 2012 on the ground that it did not reflect the consensus of the Supreme Court,” he said.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.