Senator Joker Arroyo warns God’s Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno on claims to infallibility

Just less than a month in office, newly-appointed Philippine Supreme Court Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno is already coming across as the beleaguered hapless “servant” that she pitches herself as. She should’ve been careful of what she wished for when she invoked the imagery of the martyr-like divinely-appointed “humble servant” that she used to pitch herself to the media. Her claim to her elevation to the post of Chief Justice being “God’s will” drew some reportedly snarky commentary from Senator Joker Arroyo…

Trying to look serious, Arroyo recalled Sereno’s statement at the flag-raising ceremony and quoted newspaper accounts of the Chief Justice saying “she is there because of God’s will, not Malacañang’s will or the President’s.”

“Can you imagine that? When we talk about ex cathedra, that means infallibility, I hope (Sereno) doesn’t think that way because that’s not good. That doesn’t allow for dissent,” he warned.

That flag-raising ceremony Arroyo was referring to, incidentally, was Sereno’s first one as Chief Justice. The ceremony, held on Monday, the 3rd September, was noted for what many considered to be a snub by no less than seven of the fourteen Supreme Court justices Sereno will be presiding over as the country’s top magistrate…

Absent were Associate Justices Antonio Carpio, Teresita Leonardo De Castro, Presbitero Velasco, Arturo Brion, Diosdado Peralta and Lucas Bersamin. Associate Justice Martin Villarama, who is also more senior to Sereno, was also a no-show.

Sereno, of course, did not have much of a choice but to put up a smiley brave face in front of the public following that incident where she is now widely-quoted for saying that, “[her appointment to the post of Chief Justice] is neither the work of man nor of any political bloc. This is not a product of lobbying from business or economic interests but by God who knows all the plan of our nation.” To be fair to Sereno, deferring to “God” in the absence of any readily-comprehensible reason for why things happen is a cultural tradition in the Philippines. In a sense, she is effectively implying that the perceived “snub” by these SC justices will likely be dealt with in the “afterlife” where, as many Filipinos believe, “true justice” will be served.

Just the same, Malacañang is not risking erosion of the value of its prized investment to the media onslaught, dispatching its top communications lieutenant to the task of talking up the market…

Communication Secretary Ricky Carandang on Tuesday sought to steer clear of the reported snub by seven justices of Sereno’s first flag-raising ceremony on Monday, but said the public expected her colleagues to give her a chance to prove herself.

“I don’t want to speculate on why some of the justices did not appear at the flag ceremony,” he said. “What’s clear is that the Supreme Court has a new leader; no one is questioning that.”

Of course, nobody would want to officially speculate on such matters. But that does not necessarily mean that said speculation won’t happen behind closed doors, in chicharon parties, and in the Wild-Wild West of social media and tabloid “reporting”. Indeed, media justice served Uncle Peping’s Yellow Army quite well as they were doing their slash-and-burn cultivation of the Supreme Court lackey farm early this year. The thing with Pied Pipers, however, is that they have nasty habits of eventually turning on their masters’ children.

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58 Comments on “Senator Joker Arroyo warns God’s Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno on claims to infallibility”

  1. A little off-topic: is it true that Former CJ Renato Corona sent Carpio a smiley when he found out that Sereno got appointed? 🙂

    It made me laugh.

      1. sorry, I accidentally erased a few words in my comment above. the whole comment is this – Not sure. perhaps only God and those two know if they are even on speaking terms withe each other. I think I read that in another blog

    1. @Ext

      LOL! It is more like the cuckoo politics of the mentally defectives in power that got her in. Is it presently a case of the mentally defectives and less insane leading the sane? God hep our country.

  2. Poor Sereno, she has yet to pen/decide a case as a CJ but she has already been bushwhacked by nitpickers and rabid anti-everything-about-this administration.

    The latest muckraker, the choleric looking Joker Arroyo, trying to be in circulation again. reportedly made this statement

    “she is there because of God’s will, not Malacañang’s will or the President’s.”

    “Can you imagine that? When we talk about ex cathedra, that means infallibility, I hope (Sereno) doesn’t think that way because that’s not good. That doesn’t allow for dissent,” he warned.

    I say, let’s wait for Sereno to perform and afterwards on the basis of that anyone can push the fire-button as he/she wish. If we follow tradition, justices in the SC are graded on the basis of what they do in the performance of their duty and not what they utter in the introductory proceedings.

    Joker should know that more than anybody else. Has he forgotten that he once served as executive secretary under the Saint Corazon Cojuangco Aquino? If anybody knows what an ex cathedra is, it’s Joker.

    1. That overused phrase “God’s will” has seemingly become a buzzword in the Aquino administration to indicate that that person is above reproach. In other words, he/she thinks of himself/herself as infallible and entitled< to be exempt to criticism/opposition.

      Leopards don't change their spots, and most certainly not Filipino leopards who are lazy, uncomfortable with change, or those who have no choice but to harbor a debt of gratitude (utang na loob) to their “patrons”. The spots painted on her track record of deciding cases indicate that Sereno tends to favor the Aquino and Cojuangco clans.

      What critics are concerned about, and rightly so, is that Sereno will be beholden to Aquino. A Judiciary beholden to the Executive branch is the very thing Aquino showed a distaste for with Arroyo, yet he’s predisposed to doing the same thing? Is that hypocrisy or what?

      I say it too, let’s watch CJ Sereno very closely.

      1. What critics are concerned about, and rightly so, is that Sereno will be beholden to Aquino. A Judiciary beholden to the Executive branch is the very thing Aquino showed a distaste for with Arroyo, yet he’s predisposed to doing the same thing?

        Is that hypocrisy or what? – FallenAngel

        No, it is just the usual reaction or concern of critics and ordinary observers on the relationship between the appointee and the appointing power.

        It comes with the territory.

    2. Sorry, Jonas, but I think the senator has a point. I don’t care which God she prays to but that’s already personal. Religion is personal and we have an opinion that might differ from one another or the the same regarding the matter or an issue. But it is an opinion. However, Sereno reportedly saying that she got the job by divine intervention is like saying that the RH Bill is the reason for Habagat. We already have a logical and a systematic process on how to put a person on the highest post in the court (even with other high posts in government).. Just saying that it depended on God is an insult on people who tried to decide which person is best for the job, It’s not an easy one, especially with a very attentive public awaiting that decision, Give credit where credit is due.

      PS. I guess some people already tried to judge regarding on cases where she participated in deciding (as an associate judge). Course, it will be a little different as a CJ but more of less the same. I believe the CJ don’t always participate in decisions and decisions are tacked by an en banc.

      1. You’ve done nothing wrong, I don’t deserve an apology. I understand your view and I respect it. It is just that I viewed Sereno’s expression on a different light.

        With regard to Joker Arroyo, he may have a point but, like I opined, he should be the last one to say it. He has attended lots of spiritual and religious rites before, during and after Cory Aquino’s reign. And he has witnessed people ‘exalted and promoted’ to sainthood, like Cory, during the time he was executive secretary and even as regular Cory’s comrade in arms. And we also know how Cory put religion first in the way he go about her business as president back then. Did we hear Joker talk about ex cathedra?

        Whether or not she participate or directly decide on any case, as CJ, the whole SC is seen as her court. That’s the implication of being a CJ.

        Anyway, with what happened to the previous CJ and the way he was ousted from office and the kind of reaction people have on her appointment I’m not going to be surprise if she’ll be in the center of discussion in the coming days or even months.

        1. I get your point. However Cory did not even remotely said that God put her in the palace. The people decided that for her. Personally, I think in these contemporary times, it’s overrated to include God in anything. Sure, it speaks of one’s faith but it might also show the callousness of some people in using their religion. If we are not careful, we might have a republican party in this country.

        2. Any faithful who professes his/her adoration to his/her faith in times of great exultation is fine with me. I respect people who expresses their deep connection with their faith as a way of praise and thanks.

          When I mentioned Cory, I was more referring to Joker Arroyo and his silence about ex cathedra when Cory was being touted as a saint. In Sereno’s case, she did not say God appointed her in the office for some people to react harshly. And mind you, Cory’s case is worse because, aside from the Catholic Church which was represented by Cardinal Sin at the time, she has all those priests and nuns and other religious people around her during and after the campaign and at the time she’s president. Sereno has none of that. All she did was utter ‘God’s will’ for trying to sound apolitical and Joker speaks of ex cathedra?!

          Also, the ‘God’s will’ statement is an ordinary expression among religious/spiritual people that usually expressed in both happy, not so happy and uncertain moments like for example when somebody in the family is about to die or dies and the relatives accepts it as ‘God’s will’.

          In short, what I’m saying is that there is really nothing hideous in Sereno’s utterance of ‘God’s will’. She’s not saying that her god was better than ours nor she’s encouraging us to join her in her faith for people to react in a very malicious and agitated way.

  3. Is this also God’s will or the power madness of the current political insanity? Please see the link below…

    manilastandardtoday.com/2012/09/05/aquinos-pork-barrel-p317b/

  4. Diba siya din ang senador na bumoto ng “not guilty” upang mapawalang sala ang tax evader, mandarambong, magnanakaw at maka Gloria na si Corona? Alam na kung sino ang pinapanigan ng senador na ito.

    1. fishball off topic ka nanaman. Continuing your black propaganda and demonizing? You are not doing this because it is God’s will. You are doing the will of satan, the communications group and the great leader. Buking ka na follower of satan.

  5. When things get really uncomfortable for Chief Justice Sereno, she can ask her boss to intercede. PersiNoy-inoy can coral a hundred congressmen into a room to sign an impeachment document.

  6. “What’s clear is that the Supreme Court has a new leader; no one is questioning that.”

    Ricky Carnandang.

    You can almost imagine him saying “The Emperor foresaw it”. Cue the Dark Side of the Force music.

    1. “What’s clear is that the Supreme Court has a new leader; no one is questioning that.” – Carandang

      Of course he’d say that, but he would keep insisting that it’s Sereno (Darth Vader), when he really means Aquino (Emperor Palpatine).

      “I find your lack of faith rather disturbing.”
      “Apology accepted, captain Needa.”

        1. Fishball would actually be so amusing if she was here to really challenge us ideologically. But since she is obviously part of the Ministry of Truth, then the joke is really on us since those wild claims with no substance are ultimately funded by those of us on this website that are taxpayers of the Philippines

  7. SC MaLAS must advocate and persuade harder to her god or else as we all know (bilog ang mundo), PNoy politics is a spin-the-wheel game, SC MaLAS must pray very very hard to her god appointee to spare her from the same fate of CJ Corona, she must do all the prayer offerings to her god to prevent the possibility of Lakas merging with UNA then run-sacking the majority of the Congress to impeach her.

    Since day one as SC-Aso-Jus-MaLAS, i know her already as one big liar. Remember Mr. Tiglao’s column? http://opinion.inquirer.net/35730/sereno-lied-on-her-track-record.

    each and every part of Mr. Tiglao’s write-up offers confirmed reports and information from other sources and as a matter of fact the man is telling the truth, what ever his intentions are. This convinced me more of the future outlook and disposition of SC having a CJ MaLAS in a span of 18 years.

    1. But did you read in the NT that the original 12 objected to Paul’s appointment? Paul even objected Peter in front of many. The original 12 accepted and respected Paul as one of the apostles. Peter, in one of his letters, even instructed the believer’s to heed Paul’s teachings. You’re comparison of Paul and Sereno is too far off. Peace.

      1. Did Sereno fell and was blinded on her horse, as he went to Malacanang Palace, to receive her appointment from Noynoy Aquino? St. Paul did on his way to Damascus, Syria; to destroy the Christians…

      2. tonybac

        What “comparison” are you talking about? I was merely citing NT to emphasize the absurdity, the idiocy, of CJ Sereno’s claim of being God-appointed, since the only passage in NT concerning “appointment” by God is St. Paul’s claim that, and to quote, “God appointed me.”

        It would be the height of blasphemy to “compare” St. Paul with CJ Sereno.

        Frankly, it has been a long time that I have had a chance to leaf through our dog-eared family bible, since what I did was that I merely googled the phrase “God has appointed me” in order to find out if there are like passages in the pages of the Holy Scriptures.

        Now, as to your claim that “the original 12 objected to Paul’s appointment” and that “Paul even objected Peter in front of many” (the meaning of which I fail to comprehend), I leave these all to biblical scholars (which I certainly am not) like you.

  8. Did not BSA the great leader(described in PDI as the greatest prez) make a similar statement? Hmm… I saw two versions:
    1.”God is on my side.”
    2.”God is on our side.”

    The subliminal propaganda message seems to express that BSA has been blessed by divine intervention, his credentials are from God and that he has a divine connection with heaven. This makes BSA as qualified as his mother for the conferment of “sainthood” and the commissioning of a painting.

    Gott Mitt Uns! Noy-Noy uber alles!

  9. If you read the Christian Bible. God’s prophets were anointed. Some go to unbelievable hardships. Some have good discernment. They don’t use their knowledge or brains. But, the wisdom of the Holy Spirit of God. Most will not tell you…he or she is a prophet. They just work miracles, and do the will of God. The prophet Isaiah came from an aristocratic family. Some were tree trimmers and farmers, like the prophet Joel. The Apostle Paul was a tent maker. Unfortunately, I cannot find any Supreme Court Justice…or head of the Jewish Sanhedrin, who became a prophet of God.Or, as anointed by God to do his work….

  10. INTERPRETING AND CONSTRUCTING MEANING
    Sereno’s message ought to be seen from her role reinforcing the court’s independent stance on issues. The context cannot be removed from the content of the message. The message was delivered primarily for the court employees to reinforce Sereno’s expectations of their role in the delivery of justice system.

    A textual analysis would yield that she chose to attribute her appointment as God’s work to highlight her belief that she is not beholden to any political bloc or economic interests. A structural analysis would yield that she chose God (not promoting any specific religion) as her anchor to lay the foundation for her views of the immutable and sacred texts of the Constitution.

    The questions then translates into something more profound than one would initially think. Why are the Filipinos reacting the way they do, as they do? Are some interpretations too far fetched reflecting more how they felt being left out by the apparently “non-inclusive God” in her speech? Or, does the current sentiment of some simply demonstrate a proclivity of the mind to delve into the ever divisive power of politics and religion?

    To examine our life though introspection as an individual, a community and a nation may help us move forward towards nation building.

    1. “Or, does the current sentiment of some simply demonstrate a proclivity of the mind to delve into the ever divisive power of politics and religion? ”

      The doorknob who appointed her has definitely been divisive and self indulgent without any residue of tact or practicality.

  11. I believe God, if He indeed exists, intends to let the shit accumulate, so He can eventually obliterate the old order, whether by a war with China, unpreparedness for natural calamities, a violent civil war/coup d’etat/revolution against the government, or all of the above.

    This country’s been going down into hell on earth for the last century. Perhaps “God” feels the need to put us out of our misery.

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