Public urged to respect Sereno gag order-A A +A
Friday, August 31, 2012
MANILA -- Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno has no intention to shy away from media as she takes her role of leading reforms in the judiciary, a lawyer said Friday.
"The 'dignified silence' in the Supreme Court imposed by the newly appointed Chief Justice should be respected by the public, most especially by the officials and employees of the Judicial Department," election lawyer Romulo Macalintal said.
On Tuesday, Sereno said she will just talk with different units in the SC on how to disseminate information coming from the Court rather than gracing media interviews.
Macalintal said the policy augurs well with the oft-repeated comment by former Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban that the justices of the Supreme Court "are deemed gods of Mount Olympus -- unreachable, untouchable and unaffected by the twists and turns of fate of the valley dwellers. Indeed they are better read than heard."
"We should leave her alone and let her do her job silently but with judicial conviction and integrity. Let her 'silence' be the 'language of her heart' and let it not be mistaken for indifference," he added.
Senators Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Juan Ponce-Enrile, who are also lawyers, earlier threw their support to this measure.
Sereno presided the regular session on Tuesday where all the members of the Court were present, save for Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr. who was on wellness leave.
In a statement, Sereno said the discussion revolved on new rules that would help shorten the period for the conduct of trials. She said the Court is bent to craft and implement the rules as soon as possible.
Trials should not normally take over two years to finish, the 1987 Constitution states, but Supreme Court records show that 21 percent of cases take two to five years to end and 13 percent were only resolved after five years.
The Chief Justice also maintained her support for the considerable engagement that Associate Justice Roberto Abad has had with the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP).
This engagement consists in discussing with the IBP further revisions of the Rules of Court to expedite case litigation and resolution. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)