“I’m v ery, very proud of the Negros judges”, Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno said yesterday.
In an interview,the chief justice, who spoke at the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos in Bacolod City, thanked the Negros Occidental Regional Trial Court Judges Association (NORTCJA) officers and members for their statement Monday that they are not joining the call for her to resign and are staying neutral.
“I read that, thank you, thank you,” she told the DAILY STAR.
The Negros judges stressed the need to be impartial and reserve judgment until all evidence have been presented, to be non-partisan and to let due process take its course.
“We stand for an independent judiciary,” the judges said.
The Philippine Association of Court Employees - Negros Occidental chapter yesterday also refused to join the call of their national counterparts for the resignation of Sereno.
“Should the chief justice be removed from office, let it be by impeachment, not by forced resignation”, the PACE Negros statement signed by its officers said.
On Monday the Negros Occidental Regional Trial Court Judges Association officers and members also said they are not joining the call for Sereno to resign, stressing the need to stay neutral and to let due process take its course.
It is disheartening to hear that some of the justices of the Supreme Court, judges and even the national president of PACE are calling for the resignation of the chief justice, PACE Negros said.
“This is a difficult time for us but we should stand our ground and not allow ourselves to be used by others for their own agenda,” it said.
The officers of PACE in Negros Occidental jointly call on their fellow court employees to commit to heart their “Panunumpa sa Katungkulan” to uphold the laws of the land.
The Constitution explicitly provides that a chief justice can be removed from office by impeachment, PACE Negros said.
“The Senate, as an impeachment court, will have to do its sacred duty to hear the proceedings with utmost respect for the rule of law,” PACE Negros pointed out.
“We shall continue to discharge our official functions with dignity and faith in our judicial system. Be courageous to uphold the Constitution,” PACE Negros added.
“We pray for a regime of truth, justice, freedom, love, equality and peace with the aid of Almighty God,” it said.
The PACE officers are led by their president Nenita Alquizar.*CPG
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