Cebu court work­ers mixed over Sereno im­peach case

Cebu Daily News - - NEWS - By Ador Vin­cent S. Mayol SE­NIOR RE­PORTER

SOME em­ploy­ees of the Man­daue City Hall of Jus­tice wore red shirts yes­ter­day believ­ing it was in­tended to show sol­i­dar­ity with the Supreme Court (SC).

The same court em­ploy­ees were sur­prised to learn that the “Red Mon­day” was aimed at ex­press­ing sup­port to Chief Jus­tice Maria Lour­des Sereno’s ouster.

“We were sur­prised with what we saw. We didn’t know wear­ing red was meant to call for the ouster of the chief jus­tice. We were de­ceived,” said one em­ployee, who re­quested anonymity.

One em­ployee showed the text mes­sage they re­ceived which read: “Let’s all wear RED to­mor­row, Mon­day and at­tend the flag rais­ing cer­e­mony as a sign of unity in the Supreme Court. Pls pass. #one­supre­me­court #parasaju­di­ciary #parasahudikatura.” In Cebu City, court em­ploy­ees wore reg­u­lar uni­forms.

A pri­vate mes­sage sent through Face­book to mem­bers of the Philip­pine As­so­ci­a­tion of Court Em­ploy­ees (PACE) read: “We should all wear our uni­forms to­day. We’re public ser­vants, not pup­pets. We all love our in­sti­tu­tion and what it stands for. Stop this di­vi­sive­ness. We only got one coun­try and we love its peo­ple, our coun­try­men.”

Asked why she wasn’t wear­ing a red shirt on Mon­day, one court em­ployee in Cebu City said “Dili nako feel. (I don’t feel the need to do so).”

An­other court em­ployee said Cebu City trial courts are not tak­ing sides on calls to oust Sereno.

“Cebu City is neu­tral. We just have to con­tinue work­ing,” a fe­male court clerk said.

Ex­ec­u­tive Judge Gil­bert Moises of the Re­gional Trial Court (RTC) in Cebu City was un­avail­able for com­ment since he is still out of the coun­try.

Judge Ra­mon Daomi­las Jr., the sec­ond vice ex­ec­u­tive judge, per­son­ally be­lieved Sereno must be given the chance to an­swer the al­le­ga­tions hurled against her.

“Ev­ery­one, in­clud­ing the chief jus­tice, is en­ti­tled to a day in court. (Since there’s an im­peach­ment com­plaint filed against her), let the process pro­ceed,” he said.

Daomi­las, how­ever, ap­pealed to the ex­ec­u­tive and leg­isla­tive branches of govern­ment to re­spect the in­de­pen­dence of the ju­di­ciary.

“The ju­di­ciary is not a po­lit­i­cal in­sti­tu­tion. We should be spared from it,” he said.

Daomi­las said judges and court em­ploy­ees just have to per­form their man­date so as not to de­rail the dis­pen­sa­tion of jus­tice.

“We are for the in­de­pen­dence of the ju­di­ciary. We sup­port the Supreme Court as a whole,” he said.

Last week, the jus­tice com­mit­tee of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives found prob­a­bly cause to im­peach Sereno.

The im­peach­ment com­plaint stemmed from a com­plaint filed by lawyer Lorenzo Gadon at the Lower House late last year.

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