Veteran lawyer Karen Jimeno drew flak for a tweet saying that there’s a “deluge of legal and constitutional law experts in social media” following the removal of Maria Lourdes Sereno from the Supreme Court.
Jimeno, then a Department of Public Works and Highways undersecretary, criticized the discourse on social media hinting that some of those expressing their opinions were “fools.”
President Duterte names lawyer Karen Jimeno as the new undersecretary for disaster resiliency. (via Rappler)
Kaya naman pala todo depensa si Atty Gurl, may premyo. Pero sabi ni Plato, “Never discourage anyone…no matter how slow.”
Yes. S L O W. pic.twitter.com/jdzBB72wJS
— Miss Maggie (@MiaMagdalena) May 16, 2018
Members of the bar were also among those who scored Jimeno for the statement.
We do not have the monopoly of knowledge over socio-political and legal issues. The public can, nay should, speak on matters of public concern.
— Gideon V. Peña (@gideonpena) May 11, 2018
Jimeno, who has a new job as Undersecretary for Disaster Resiliency under the Presidential Management Staff, has since deleted the tweet.
As of this writing, she has not followed up on the tweet and did not explain why she deleted it.
The return of the ‘armchair experts?’
Before Jimeno, Senators Sonny Angara and JV Ejercito also criticized what they saw were “constitutionalists” and “armchair experts” on social media.
hehe. A nation of armchair experts
— Sonny Angara (@sonnyangara) May 27, 2017
Among those who countered the legislators was veteran lawyer Ruben Carranza.
Carranza heads the International Center for Transitional Justice. According to his profile, he has worked with the International Criminal Court and has worked with various policymaking initiatives around the globe.
Angara apologized for the statement, claiming to have used a “poor choice of words.”
Unlike Jimeno’s tweet, Angara and Ejercito’s exchange is still accessible for the public’s perusal.
Who is Karen Jimeno?
Up until recently, Jimeno served as Undersecretary for Legal Affairs and Priority Projects of the DPWH.
Her previous government experience includes time as Head for External Affairs & Communications for the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery, where she worked under Panfilo Lacson during the administration of Benigno Aquino III.
She was also appointed as Legal Counsel for the Senate Ethics Committee for the 17th Congress in 2017.
As an educator, she taught law for nine years at institutions such as her alma mater the University of the Philippines College of Law, Centro Escolar University, and the San Beda Graduate School of Law.
She received a Master of Laws from the Harvard University Law School in 2011.
Outside of the legal profession, Jimeno has a motoring column in the Philippine Star.
In an interview in 2012, Jimeno, a member of the counsel of the late former chief justice Renato Corona during the latter’s impeachment trial, admitted that she was never interested in politics until she took the job defending the would-be impeached magistrate.
Jimeno is a member of the pro-administration group the Tapang at Malasakit Alliance.