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MANILA, Philippines - Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Monday faced employees and officials of the Supreme Court, vowing to institute reforms. But seven senior justices failed to show up at the flag ceremony, her first as head of the judiciary.
Absent were Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, and Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo De Castro, Presbitero Velasco Jr., Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, and Martin Villarama.
Speaking before employees and officials of the Supreme Court, she assured her audience that she will work to improve the judiciary.
“Hindi po lingid ang hirap na pinagdadaanan ninyo sa hudikatura. Bukod sa hirap ng mga huwes at justices, gayundin po ang hirap ng mga pangkaraniwang empleyado at mga opisyal (I know the hardship you face in the judiciary. Aside from the difficulties of the judges and justices, ordinary employees and officials also suffer).”
“Nagsusumamo po ako na pagkatiwalaan nyo po kami at naiintindihan po naming ang mga hinaing ninyo at nais po naming makahanap ng solusyon sa mga hinaing na ito (I beg you to trust us and we understand your complaints and we want to find solutions to your complaints),” said Sereno.
At the same time, she said it was God’s will - not any political bloc or business interest - that put her as head of the judiciary.
“Hindi po ito gawa ng kahit anong political bloc. Hindi po ito paglo-lobby ng business or economic interest, ngunit ang Diyos ang may alam kung ano ang plano nya sa taumbayan,” she said.
Sereno said she has also opened channels of communication with the Department of Budget and Management to continue talks on additional budget for the judiciary.
“Bukas po ang isipan nila sa ating mga hinaing (They are open to our complaints),” she said.
She also urged the employees to pray for unity in the judiciary and success of the reforms that she will introduce.
“Hinihingi ko rin po ang lahat ng tulong na magdasal para sa akin, para sa lahat ng huwes, justices, court officials at empleyado mula sa mataas hanggang sa pinakamaliit sa hudikatura. Kailangan po natin ang dasal at higit sa lahat kailangan po natin na ang Diyos ay pagbuklurin ang ating puso at ating diwa upang tayo ay ganap na magkaisa,” said Sereno.