Newly-appointed Chief Justice Teresita De Castro
MANILA, Philippines – Newly appointed Chief Justice Teresita De Castro shrugs off the impeachment complaint filed against her.
She said she wants to focus on her duty as the new Chief of the Supreme Court (SC) given only a few days in office.
“I have no time to think about it. Because you know as you mentioned, I have a few weeks to work here in court. I don’t want to be distracted by anything else. My schedule is full. I have so many activities for the coming days,” De Castro said.
On her first day on Tuesday (August 28), De Castro went straight to preside the SC’s regular en banc session and the oral arguments on the petition questioning the Philippines’ withdrawal from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Meanwhile, De Castro denied allegations that her position was a reward for her efforts in the ouster of her predecessor Maria Lourdes Sereno or for her controversial decisions such as favoring the declaration of martial law in Mindanao and allowing the interment of the late President Ferdinand Marcos to the Libingan ng mga Bayani despite public outrage.
“I think we should all move on and work together for the good of our Judiciary. I think they should look at my record. I’ve been in government for 45 years now and by the time I retire, I will have served 45 years and 8 months in the government. I think people should just look at my track record, my long service at the judiciary,” she said.
Given her limited time in office, De Castro vowed to push for reforms in SC such as strengthening the institution’s information and case management system.
After Sereno’s appointment as chief justice was nullified in May this year, De Castro is now the first woman Chief Justice of the SC and has the shortest term among the chief magistrates as she only has 42 days to serve — she is retiring on October 8, 2018.
“Whatever legacy I may leave behind when I retire is not a product of 2 months or weeks. I’ve been working on these for many years already. In fact, even the position of chief justice was beyond my imagination. I was already working with many projects which I want to be done when I retire,” the chief justice concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Mai Bermudez)
CJ De Castro marks last SC flag raising ceremony with big send-off
MANILA, Philippines — Supreme Court employees paid tribute to Chief Justice Teresita Leonardo-De Castro as she attended her last flag raising ceremony on Monday, October 08.
De Castro will be retiring on Wednesday, October 10 when she reaches the mandatory retirement age of 70 .
A marching band trumpeted the arrival of De Castro as she was welcomed by SC employees and her fellow magistrates who were all dressed in blue.
A huge banner was hung bearing a message of gratitude to the 24th chief justice of the Supreme Court.
In her speech, De Castro touted the reforms she has made in the SC such as the salary increase and overtime pay of stenographers and other SC employees.
“I will miss all of you. I will miss everyone with whom I worked in the course of my 10 years and 8 months here,” De Castro said.
“With this I say goodbye to all of you. You have given me many memories to live by the rest of my life. Thank you.” — Mai Bermudez
JBC names candidates for SC Associate Justice
MANILA, Philippines – The Judicial Bar Council (JBC) has announced the names of candidates for the vacant position of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court (SC).
Justice Secretary and JBC ex officio chairman Menardo Guevarra on Monday (October 1) revealed that the shortlist includes: Court of Appeals (CA) Justices Japar Dimaampao, Ramon Garcia, Manuel Barrios, Apolinario Bruselas Jr., Rosmari Carandang, Edgardo Delos Santos, and Ramon Paul Hernando, Amy Lazaro-Javier and SC Court Administrator Midas Marquez. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Mai Bermudez)
Nomination, application for Chief Justice post opens September 29
Supreme Court of the Philippines
The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) is opening applications for the next Chief Justice on Saturday, September 29.
According to Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, an ex-officio member of the JBC, the deadline for submission of requirements for those interested in the post is on October 15.
Under JBC rules, the nominee must formally accept the nomination before it can be processed.
The JBC will be vetting nominations and applications for the chief justice position as Chief Justice Teresita Leonardo de Castro reaches the mandatory retirement age of 70 on October 8. — Mai Bermudez