SC exec says ‘majority’ of employees supported ‘red Monday’
A “majority” of Supreme Court officials and employees wore red during the flag ceremony, which some dubbed “red Monday,” in support of the justices who called for Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to go on an indefinite leave.
“We are happy that majority of the employees joined us in wearing red,” said a court official.
The court official said they coordinated with leaders of the court employees to join them in wearing red if they supported the position of the majority justices that Sereno should take an indefinite leave to prepare for her looming impeachment trial.
Present during the flag ceremony were Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo De Castro, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Mariano Del Castillo, Marvic Leonen, Francis Jardeleza, Andres Reyes Jr., Noel Tijam, Samuel Martirez and Alexander Gesmundo.
Philippine Judicial Academy (PhilJa) Chancellor and retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Adolf Azcuna was also present.
Applause from the employees greeted the justices present during the flag ceremony.
Also present were Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez and several judges led by Philippine Judges Association (PJA) President Felix Reyes.
Some of the male justices, Marquez, and PJA members wore red ties while Justice De Castro wore a floral piece dress with red accents.
Some employees who did not wear red cited “personal reasons” for not doing so.
A court official who refused to be identified for lack of authority to speak on the matter said members of the PJA were present during the flag raising ceremony because they have been invited. PJA is an organization of regional trial court judges.
“Hindi talaga expected na makakarating lahat ng [PJA] members kasi malalayo. But what is important is the presence of its officers,” the official said.
Court insiders said that during last week’s en banc (full court) session, her fellow justices told her to resign but Sereno refused.
“If you want, I will join with you, sabay tayo mag resign,” an associate justice told Sereno during the en banc, a source said.
Another justice, on the other hand, moved to declare the chief justice position as vacant amid questions of Sereno’s non-compliance in submitting her statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) when she was applying for the chief justice post.
The Chief Justice opted to take an indefinite leave of absence after she met with Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr.
Sereno’s indefinite leave took effect last March 1.
Another associate justice said he has sworn no loyalty to anyone because his job “is to do what is right based on the truth that I see.”
Meanwhile, Carpio, during his interview with ANC’s Headstart said, “My take is we’re not against Sereno. We just want to preserve the Supreme Court’s integrity.” /cbb