De Castro to similar locations: respect our decisions, leave us alone
(philstar.com) – September 3, 2018 – 10:26 am
MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Chief Justice Teresita De Castro stressed in her first message to the Supreme Court staff as head of the judiciary that the Supreme Court "should remain alone to decide for ourselves".
She said that the judiciary demands respect from its equivalent government departments.
"The other members of the equivalent branches should understand that the decision made by the judges of the SC must be respected. We must be left alone to determine the fate of this institution without interference," De Castro said.
The Castro was one of the judges of the Supreme Court who testified in the House of Representatives during the hearings in a complaint against Maria Lourdes Sereno, which has since been expelled by a separate but related quo warranto petition from Solicitor General Jose Calida.
"People outside want to judge us on what they see or hear from a distance, but it is us, the judges and officials of the Court, who know what is happening within the Supreme Court and we must be left alone", added the Chief Justice to it. .
From red to black to blue
The SC on Monday was blue in color, as The STAR reported earlier that employees started the call to wear blue to show the return of "peace" to the judiciary.
During the highlight of the ouster actions against Sereno, the SC employees held "Red Mondays" and "Black Fridays" to express their support for the bids to remove her from the office.
President Rodrigo Duterte appointed De Castro as the new chief judge in a decision that according to the palace was based on seniority.
The quo-warranto petition that led to the removal of Sereno from the office was criticized by many sectors because it was "unconstitutional". Some legislators, who said the right way to remove a sitting chief judge, is by deposition, saying that it weakened the independence of the SC as an institution.
De Castro will remain in office for less than two months.
Chief judge is one of the first among equals
In her speech to court officials, De Castro emphasized that "the chief judge is only the first, but nevertheless equal to each of the associated judges of the court."
De Castro also emphasized that no one can claim "superiority over the others."
"We decide all cases with one vote each," she added.
She also said that the equivalent government departments will understand that the decision of the judges must be respected.
In her first press conference with the press last August 28, the Chief Justice said she wants the "De Castro Court" to be remembered as the one that brought the collegiality back into the SC. – Kristine Joy Patag with Edu Punay from The STAR and Dale De Vera from News5