President Benigno S. Aquino III administered the oath of office Saturday to incoming Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Maria Lourdes Punzalan Aranal-Sereno after she was chosen to become the 24th Chief Justice of the High Tribunal.
The President led the oath-taking ceremony Saturday morning at Rizal Hall of Malacanang. Sereno was accompanied by her husband, Mario Jose Sereno and their two children Maria Sofia and Jose Lorenzo.
Also present during Saturday’s oath-taking ceremony were Rep. Erin Tanada, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Bishop Efraim M. Tendero, former SC chief justice Artemio Panganiban, SC’s associate justices and former justices of the High Court.
In an interview after the ceremony, Presidential Communication Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said Chief Justice Sereno will have an opportunity to push the reforms in the judiciary especially those that started during the impeachment trial of the former chief justice.
The appointment of Sereno to the High Court will bring back the public trust and confidence to the country’s judicial system and ensure equal protection of the law, Coloma said noting that those who have less in life should have more in law.
Also during the same event, Justice Secretary de Lima, one of the contenders for the post, congratulated Sereno adding the Supreme Court will now be in good hands with her stewardship.
Sereno’s youth, dynamism and brilliance would ensure that the country can look forward to a judiciary that would be worthy of the people’s trust, she said.
Sereno, the country’s first woman chief justice, was appointed by President Aquino on August 16, 2010 as the 169th Justice of the SC. She was President Aquino’s first appointee to the SC.
Access to justice is one of the centerpiece advocacies of Justice Sereno.
One of her earlier works in law school included a review of the interface between domestic laws and indigenous customary laws.
Prior to her joining the SC, she was engaged in major international litigation as co-counsel for the Republic, after which she joined the Asian Institute of Management as Executive Director of its think-tank - the AIM Policy Center - where she pursued her interest in policy reform and its impact on governance and the economy.