Senior justices skip SC flag rites for the 3rd time-A A +A
Monday, September 17, 2012
MANILA -- Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and five other magistrates never showed up at the flag-raising ceremony for the third time since Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno took over the reins of the judiciary in late August.
Carpio was joined by Associate Justices Presbitero Velasco Jr., Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Arturo Brion, Diosdado Peralta and Lucas Bersamin.
Except for Bersamin and Peralta, the rest were Sereno's rivals for the top judicial post vacated by Renato Corona in May because of his ouster by the Senate impeachment court over misdeclared cash assets.
Sereno, whose appointment broke the unwritten seniority rule in the High Court, is the third most junior magistrate after Associate Justices Bienvenido Reyes and Estela Perlas-Bernabe, who both attended the weekly ceremony at the SC grounds.
Also present on Monday were Associate Justices Roberto Abad, Mariano del Castillo, Jose Perez and Jose Mendoza.
In a related development, Sereno assured the Senate of the efforts being undertaken by the SC to fill up around 600 court vacancies as of January 2012.
Senator Franklin Drilon, who heads the chamber in scrutinizing the 2013 national budget, said Sereno has been meeting with the members of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) and the Office of the Court Administrator to address the matter.
"The very slow pace of dispensing justice in our country continues to be a challenge to the Judiciary, and the very slow delivery of justice is attributed to the vast number of vacancies that are now in the judicial system notwithstanding adequate funds that have been provided to them," said Drilon.
The judiciary will get P17.77 billion next year, including automatic appropriation, from P15.71 billion, or an increase of 13.08 percent. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)