Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno marks on Monday her third year as the highest official in the judiciary notable, according to her critics, for lack of ascendancy over the rest of the bench.
She was appointed by President Benigno Aquino 3rd on August 24, 2012, succeeding Renato Corona, who had been convicted by the Senate acting as an impeachment court.
On the same day, The Manila Times broke the story that Sereno flunked a psychiatric test administered by two psychiatrists and two psychologists tapped by the Judicial and Bar Council.
Her lack of ascendancy, according to the critics, had been shown by majority in the tribunal deciding this week to grant bail to Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile and last year to allow Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza to sit as SC justice.
An SC magistrate described the Chief Justice as “inexperienced and incompetent.”
This assessment seemed to have been validated by another SC justice, who said, “The usual resolutions of the High Court [under Sereno]take three to four months [to promulgate], unlike [under]the previous Chief Justices who took only a week or two [to do so].”
She has refused to release results of her psychiatric test but it was discovered that she got a “grade of 4” in the “mental” part of the examination.
Sereno’s IQ is an “average” 109.
In her three years in the High Court, Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) of the Chief Justice increased progressively: P18,143,104.01 in 2012, P19,012,648.21 in 2013 and P19,584,104.34 in 2014.
Her 2014 SALN did not reflect her earnings or attorney’s fees of P15 million and legal fees of $6 million from the controversial Piatco case that were declared illegal by a lower court.
In 2011, Sereno’s net worth was P18.029 million, and in 2010, it was P17.9 million.