Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno is holding “hostage” the appointment of the first Supreme Court (SC) Associate Justice appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Sereno has refused to release the appointment papers of outgoing Sandiganbayan justice and now incoming SC Associate Justice Samuel Martires.
The papers were transmitted by Malacañang to the Office of the Chief Justice on Monday.
According to several SC justices in the tribunal who talked to The Manila Times on condition of anonymity, Sereno was “forcing” Martires to take his oath of office before her.
In fact, the justices said, emissaries were sent to convince Martires to take his oath before Sereno.
“[She is so thick-skinned. Sammy (Martires’ nickname) does not want her to swear him in],” one the SC justices told The Manila Times.
The justices said Sereno wants Martires to “knock at her door” and get his appointment papers from her.
Under the procedure in the SC, the appointment papers of justices and judges are transmitted by Malacanang to the Chief Justice.
The Office of the Chief Justice then sends the papers to the Office of the Clerk of Court, which, in turn, contacts the appointee for him to receive the original copy of his appointment papers and take his oath before anyone whom he wishes to administer the oath.
The Manila Times learned that Martires took his oath before President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday afternoon.