Sereno fails to attend SC en banc session

December 4, 2012 11:00 pm 

By Perfecto Raymundo

MANILA, Dec. 4 — For the first time, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno was not able to attend Tuesday the en banc session of the Supreme Court.

Under Special Order No. 1384 dated Dec. 4, 2012 and signed by Sereno herself, titled "Adjudication of Cases", she designated Senior Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio as Acting Chief Justice for the reason that she is sick.

"In view of the sick leave of absence of the undersigned, Senior Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio is hereby designated as Acting Chief Justice, with authority to exercise the powers and prerogatives of and pertaining to the position of Chief Justice on matters that cannot wait for the Justice, effective today, Decr 4, 2012, until the undersigned reports back to work," Sereno's Order read.

Carpio is the most senior associate justice of the highest court of the land.

However, the justices of the SC were surprised how Sereno suddenly got sick after it was reported she was lobbying Monday when she personally went in the chambers of Justices Teresita Leonardo-De Castro, Arturo D. Brion and Martin S. Villarama Jr.

Sereno allegedly even lobbied with other justices over the telephone to support her and not to revoke the reopening of the Regional Court Administration Office Region 7.

The justices of the SC last weekend denied Sereno's order that a resolution be issued ratifying her act for the revival and reopening of RCAO in Region 7 in Cebu City.

They also denied that they allowed Sereno to appoint Judge Geraldine Faith A. Econg to be the Officer-in-Charge of RCAO Region 7.

Associate Justice De Castro wrote a letter to the SC en banc questioning the resolution issued by Sereno without authority from the en banc.

During Tuesday's en banc session presided by Carpio, the issue as to the RCAO was still pursued.

The SC en banc has decided to put on hold the assumption of Econg as RCAO head.

It has designated Associate Justice Presbitero J. Velasco, Jr. to talk to Econg not to perform her duties and assume her post. (PNA)

HBC/PTR

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