Ex-Chief Justice Narvasa honored in SC-A A +A
Monday, November 4, 2013
TWO successors of the late Chief Justice Andres Narvasa took turns in paying tribute on Monday.
Former Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr. called Narvasa “incorruptible and immortal” while Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno was reminded of the ex-top magistrate’s sunny personality.
Before Narvasa’s relatives and court employees, Davide said his ex-colleague was “God’s favorite” because of his humility, integrity, independence and dedication to duty and courage.
“In all that he did we witnessed the manifestations of God's abiding presence,” said Davide in his eulogy at the SC session hall.
He also fondly recalled the seven years he had worked with Narvasa in the High Court.
“Never pompous and always approachable, he was nevertheless the embodiment of judicial dignity. He was never patronizing, but neither was he obsequious. He never attempted to curry favor of politicians and endeavored to insulate the Court from their importuning,” said Davide, who succeeded Narvasa in late 1998.
Davide then asked Narvasa’s children not to grieve, “for Chief Justice Narvasa is now incorruptible and immortal. He is alive in our hearts.”
Sereno, for her part, said Narvasa was well-loved by the employees of the judiciary. She said Narvasa shares her mission of instituting judicial reforms.
“In every step of progress that the judiciary makes, he will be there,” said Sereno.
In response, Narvasa’s son Gregorio recalled that his father was a perfectionist. Gregorio said the late chief justice even revised some lines in hit song “My Way” for supposed grammatical errors while in a recording session.
Featuring a baritone voice, Narvasa’s rendition of “Saan Ka Man Naroroon” written by the late National Artist Levi Celerio was played in the session hall. Gregorio gave Sereno and the SC copies of the eight-song CD.
Narvasa, the country’s 19th Chief Justice, was given full honors at the SC which coincided with its weekly flag-raising ceremony.
Sereno led the Court in welcoming the Narvasa children and the urn containing his cremated remains carried by honor guards from the Philippine National Police (PNP).
A portion of Padre Faura street (from the University of the Philippine Manila to the Department of Justice) was closed to traffic earlier in the day to give way for the formal honors.
Narvasa’s remains stayed at the session hall from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. where members of the judiciary and employees, as well as the public, paid their last respects.
Narvasa, who died of pneumonia at the age of 84 last Thursday, is survived by his children Andres, Jr., Raymundo, Gregorio II, Socorro, Martin and Regina and their respective spouses, and grandchildren. His wife Janina Yuseco passed away in 2006.
He was chief justice from December 8, 1991 to November 30, 1998. (Sunnex)