For the sake of the nation, current Chief Justice of the Philippine Supreme Court Lourdes Sereno should resign immediately. It’s not just the public that has lost respect for her, her colleagues have had it with her too. Information from insiders at the Supreme Court has exposed the cracks in the high court. The cracks are enough to damage the entire institution.
Sereno’s arrogance is the problem. The other justices were trying to give her a chance to explain herself to them regarding her missing Statements of Assets, Liability and Net worth (SALNs), but she refused to respond to them. At some point, she even wanted to lawyer up when her peers reportedly demanded that she go on an indefinite leave during an en banc session:
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The source said ten out of the 15-member court were either for Sereno’s resignation or for her taking an indefinite leave.
A second source said the justices wanted Sereno to leave the en banc meeting so the justices could hold an executive session but this time, Sereno prevailed.
The first source said that Associate Justice Marvic Leonen moved for an executive session to exclude Sereno and transfer the chairmanship of the meeting to Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio.
Sereno declined and said she would consult her lawyers.
Other justices shot back at Sereno and asked why there was a need to consult her lawyers.
“You mean to say your lawyers are members of this Court?” a justice asked her.
A rational person would practice a bit of introspection and acknowledge that she cannot continue to function effectively when her colleagues no longer trust her. A rational person would accept her mistakes and admit that she is not fit nor qualified to be in her position. But not Sereno. The result of her psychological examination is already manifesting in her behaviour.
Dr. Geraldine Tria, an expert psychologist who stood as a witness during the recent committee hearing on the impeachment complaints against Sereno stated that she would not have recommended Sereno as a nominee for the Chief Justice position based on psychological test results that indicate that she may be mentally-disturbed. Tria said that Sereno’s test outcomes showed signs of grandiosity, preoccupied fantasies of unlimited power or brilliance, sense of entitlement, interpersonally exploitative in order to take advantage of others to achieve an end, and lack of empathy.
Some people got reminded of former President Benigno Simeon Aquino III when they read Sereno’s psychological test result. It’s as if the result was describing him too. We all know that BS Aquino suffers from delusions of grandeur. The recent hearing on the dengue vaccine where he tried to brush off accountability for the children at risks of getting severe dengue after being vaccinated with Dengvaxia showed his lack of empathy as well. But I digress…
The point is, BS Aquino has a lot in common with his appointed Chief Justice and former classmate Sereno. BS Aquino’s lack of empathy is consistent with his statement to the press when asked about Sereno’s missing SALNs. BS Aquino shifted the blame to the Judicial Bar Council (JBC) and said they should be the ones to answer because when they gave him the list, he assumed everyone on the list was qualified as chief justice nominees. His statement shows he doesn’t care anymore what happens to Sereno. He’s doing what he does best – saving his own ass.
While BS Aquino makes a valid point – that the JBC should have done its job – we all know what a bully he is. Even before the late former Chief Justice Renato Corona was removed from his post, Sereno’s name was already being floated around as the possible replacement of Corona. We all know that coming up with the list of nominees was just a mere formality to give the appearance that the appointment went through a process. But now we know that the process was a sham. The members of the JBC allowed themselves to be bullied into turning a blind eye to Sereno’s missing SALNs and the results of her psychological test. Shame on JBC for betraying the public!
BS Aquino’s appalling behaviour continues to affect the Filipino people in a negative way even today. And it will continue to do so if his appointees like Sereno remain in their posts.
I agree with House Speaker Alvarez. Sereno doesn’t have to go through impeachment. The Supreme Court can just void her appointment on grounds that it is not valid due to her failure to submit all the necessary requirements to be qualified as Chief Justice. Supreme Court justices should go public with their sentiments against Sereno and protest with placards saying “Sereno resign!”. What’s the point in having her around when they don’t respect her anymore? The public’s trust in the court is already down, Sereno’s presence is making it even worse.
It’s unfortunate that the public is learning that Sereno is unfit to be the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court only now. She has been in her position for five years already. The timing is also unfortunate since the Opposition will use this to argue that President Rodrigo Duterte is only after removing those who are critical of him. Some feminists will cry foul again and say it is an “attack on women” in government. That’s all bullshit and their opinion is less important than the fate of the Supreme Court. It’s very crucial to replace Sereno with someone who can make sound decisions about the cases filed against BS Aquino and his former cabinet members. The Supreme Court deserves someone better than a mental case like Sereno.
If Sereno has any decency left, which is doubtful, she should spare the public the circus of another impeachment trial.
In life, things are not always what they seem.