Sereno is new chief justice
Statement of Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda:
In the midst of this period of deep mourning for the loss of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, the President is cognizant of his constitutional duty to appoint the next Chief Justice of the Philippines. He has therefore decided to appoint Associate Justice Maria Lourdes Punzalan Aranal-Sereno as the 24th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
Sen. Francis Pangilinan welcomed the appointment of Sereno as CJ. “We hope her relative youth and her passion and dynamism will invigorate the moribund and antiquated system of justice in the country. Nothing less than sweeping and comprehensive reforms will do to ensure that the crisis facing the judiciary will be overcome, and we will need the energy, creativity and stamina of a new generation of jurists to do just that.
“The President is confident that Chief Justice Sereno will lead the judiciary in undertaking much-needed reforms. We believe the Judicial Branch of government has a historic opportunity to restore our people’s confidence in the judicial system.”
Lacierda said President Aquino met with Sereno in Malacanang this morning before her appointment was announced.
From ABS-CBN online:
Born July 2, 1960, Sereno is 52 years old – making her the youngest to be appointed to the Chief Justice post. She will be sitting as Chief Justice for 18 years until she reaches the retirement age of 70.
She is also the first female Chief Justice in the Philippines.
Sereno is the first appointee of President Aquino to the SC in 2010, filling in the lone vacancy in the SC created by the appointment of Associate Justice Renato Corona as Chief Justice.
Ironically, she will also be filling in Corona’s spot after the former chief justice was impeached and removed from office last May.
Integrated Bar of the Philippines president Roan Libarios congratulated President Aquino for appointing Sereno, saying the magistrate placed 2nd in the IBP mock polls for the CJ post.
Asked why Aquino appointed Sereno, Libarios said: “Komportable si President Aquino sa kanya dahil siya yung unang appointee niya at pangalawa dahil may kakayahan si Justice Sereno na mag-undertake ng reforms at advocacy.”
A pioneer of law and economics in the country, Sereno was executive director of the Asian Institute of Management Policy Center and the president of Accesslaw, Inc.
She was a faculty member of the Philippine Judicial Academy since 2000, teaching Civil Law, Negotiable Instruments Law, and International Trade Law.
She was a TOWNS (Ten Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service) Awardee for Law in 1998. She was co-counsel with Justice Florentino P. Feliciano, of the Fraport Case before the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes in Washington DC and the PIATCO case before the International Chamber of Commerce-International Court of Arbitration, Singapore. Both cases were resolved in favor of the Republic of the Philippines.
Sereno graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University with a degree in AB Economics in 1980 and obtained her Bachelor of Laws cum laude from the UP College of Law in 1984. She has a Masters of Law from the University of Michigan Law School.