To show their disapproval of the perceived irregularities committed by Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, associate justices and personnel of the Supreme Court (SC) will wear red during the flag raising ceremony on Monday.
The Manila Times learned that the magistrates agreed among themselves to wear red shirts to show that the high tribunal is in a “fighting mood.”
Supreme Court employees will also wear red to show their support to the 13 justices who signed the statement announcing that Sereno was forced to go on an indefinite leave of absence last week, sources said.
The sources said today’s activity is a step closer to an open declaration of war against Sereno. It is also their quiet way of prodding Sereno to step down from her position.
Since Sereno was appointed chief justice on August 24, 2012, very few justices have been attending flag raising ceremonies on Mondays.
The only time that almost all of the magistrates showed up for the flag ceremony was when Sereno went to the United States and Associate Justice Antonio Carpio was tapped as acting chief justice.
Since an impeachment complaint was filed against the chief justice at the House of Representatives, judges and court employees have been waiting how the justices will act on the issue, sources said.
They compared Sereno’s case with that of the late Chief Justice Renato Corona, who got the support of the judiciary when an impeachment complaint was filed against him over his non-declaration of assets in his statement of assets and liabilities.
“Noon kay CJ Corona, ang judiciary bilang pamilya ay under attack ng ibang pamilya tulad ng Malacañang, kongreso at senado kaya kaming mga anak ay nagtanggol kay CJ Corona. Pero ngayon sa impeachment ni CJ Sereno, mismong loob ng bahay na ang away. Nanay at tatay na mga justices na namin nag-aaway, kaya isa ang dapat umalis pag ganito. Yung nagtaksil na ina ang dapat palayasin (Under Corona, the judiciary was attacked by other ‘families’ – Malacañang, the House of Representatives and the Senate, thus we had to defend chief justice Corona. But in the impeachment complaint against Sereno, there is fighting in our own house. Our justices are wrangling, so one has to go. And the mother who went astray should be thrown out),” a judge told the Times.
While Sereno is on an indefinite leave, Carpio will sit as the acting chief justice under Special Order 2539 signed by Sereno on February 28, 2018.
Carpio will also sit as acting chairman of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal.
Sereno also designated Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo de Castro as the acting chairperson of the First Division.