The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines -- Human rights lawyer and former senator Rene A.V. Saguisag on Saturday said newly installed Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno deserves “all our cooperation “ as she presides over a reform-challenged judiciary she is expected to head for a maximum 18 years.
Sereno has a difficult task ahead but there is nothing in her background that suggests she may not be up to the challenge and she certainly deserves the benefit of the doubt, even among those with reservations about her age (she is only 52) and, more important, the fact that she is an Aquino appointee, said Saguisag in an exclusive interview with InterAksyon.com at San Beda College, his alma mater where he still teaches law.
Saguisag had only one unsolicited advice for the new Chief Justice, the first woman to occupy the post: she should strive always not to give people a chance to carp that her appointment is “payback time” for her dissenting opinion in the Hacienda Luisita case, where critics noted she had sought bigger compensation for the Cojuangcos, the maternal family of the President.
“Everyone knows I [rooted] for Justice (Roberto) Abad and (former congressman) Ronnie Zamora,” added Saguisag, referring to two of the seven nominees bested by Sereno.
But still, he stressed, Sereno is a good choice as he congratulated her.
He said he had confidence that as a human rights lawyer -- Saguisag cofounded the lawyers’ group MABINI, which tangled with the Marcos dictatorship -- Sereno will abide by the Constitution and has strong grounding in human rights, given her track record in questions involving due process and rule of law.
View the interview with former senator Rene Saguisag