Cebu court workers mixed over Sereno impeach case
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.