Yesterday, after months of screening and public interviews on who should be the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court due to the ouster of Chief Justice Renato Corona during the impeachment trial, President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino appoints Supreme Court Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno as the replacement of the deposed Renato Corona.
Her appointment yesterday has significance as she is the first female to hold the highest post of the judiciary branch of our government, the position of Chief Justice and expected to hold the position until she reach the age of retirement of 70 on 2 July 2030.
When I heard the news that she was appointed, I was not surprised as Chief Justice Sereno was one of the favorites of the President to replace the deposed Renato Corona as Chief Justice and aside from that, Chief Justice Sereno was the first appointee to the Supreme Court (SC) by President Noynoy Aquino and her votes in Supreme Court when she was an ordinary Justice was in favor of the interest of the Cojuangco family, maternal family of Noynoy Aquino, when she positioned that the valuation the government should pay to the Cojuangco family should be in 2006 price not the 1989 as ruled by the majority of the Justices in 2011 regarding the just compensation payments by the government to the Cojuangco in order the lands of the Hacienda Luisita to be redistributed.
Also, she was the one of the Justices who barred the former President and now Pampanga Representative, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from traveling abroad for medical treatment in Europe on which was contrary to the constitutional right of a person to travel anywhere else unless convicted with final judgment by any courts on which Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was yet to be judged with final judgment.
I hope that our new Chief Justice should show not only her independence but also the entire Supreme Court’s independence from the coercion of the executive branch.