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Friday, August 24, 2012

Maria Lourdes Sereno, new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court | Profile

President Aquino on Friday appointed Associate Justice Maria Lourdes Punzalan Aranal-Sereno as the 24th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

"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," a statement from MalacaƱan read.

It added: "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."

Speaking to ANC, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda acknowledged that President Aquino is breaking tradition by appointing the youngest of the current Supreme Court magistrates to lead the judiciary.

Asked why the President appointed a Chief Justice who will stay for 18 years before retiring, Lacierda said the appointment of a young Chief Justice was anticipated by the Constitution.
"You have a requirement wherein a person may become Justice of the Supreme Court at the age of 40 and retire at the age of 70. Therefore, anybody within that range is capable of becoming appointed Chief Justice," he said.
"Now, we are breaking tradition in a sense that the President did not appoint someone who is near retirement and obviously Chief Justice Sereno is I think the youngest Chief Justice. If I am not mistaken, she is 52 years old. She will have a full 18 years to implement reforms in the judiciary and we are hoping that the reforms will take root as the years go by," he added.

The spokesman said the President talked to the different nominees for the Chief Justice post before coming to the conclusion that Sereno "is the best person to institute reforms in the judiciary."

He also said Aquino's decision to announce Sereno's appointment while the nation is in mourning for the late DILG chief Jesse Robredo is only a recognition of the need to appoint a new Chief Justice within the constitutional period of apointment.

Who is Chief Justice Maria Loudres Sereno?

Associate Justice Maria Lourdes A. Sereno is the first appointee to the Supreme Court (SC) by Pres. Noynoy Aquino and the youngest among the nominees for Chief Justice coming from the high tribunal.
She was born on July 2, 1960; she is 52 years old.

She completed her law degree at the University of the Philippines (UP) in 1984 as Class Valedictorian and cum laude.

As pre-law, she took up AB Economics at the Ateneo De Manila University (ADMU) where she graduated in 1980.

She completed her secondary education in 1976 at the Quezon City High School, with Honors; her elementary education was completed in 1972 when she graduated Class Salutatorian from the Kamuning Elementary School.

She had her post-graduate degree at the UP School of Economics with the Master of Arts in Economics Program which she finished in 1992. In 1993, she completed another masteral degree, this time, Master of Laws, at the University of Michigan, Michigan, USA.

Justice Sereno was appointed to the Supreme Court on Aug. 13, 2010.

Professional background
She started her career in private practice as a junior associate of the Sycip Salazar Feliciano and Hernandez law firm in 1986.

Starting in1994 up to 2008, she served as legal counsel of various government offices such as the Office of the President (OP), Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), Dept. of Trade and Industry (DTI), and WTO-AFTA. Sometime between 1995 to 1996, she headed the Information and Public Division office of the UP Law Complex.

Also, in 1995, she served as consultant for Judicial Reform of the UNDP, WB, and USAID; she served in this capacity up to 2002.

From 1996 to 1999, she was Director of the UP Institute of Legal Studies.
In 1998, she was a counsellor of the WTO Appellate Body.

In 1999, she served as Commissioner and Chairperson of the Steering Committee of the Preparatory Commission on Constitutional Reform.

Sereno was a lecturer at the Dept. of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Foreign Service Institute from 1996 to 2007.
She served as a lecturer in Electronic Commerce Law at the AIM in 2000, at the same time, at the Murdoch University lecturing on International Business Law from 2001 t0 2002. She also lectured on International Business Law at the University of Western Australia from 2003 up to 2007.

In 2004, she was a lecturer on International Trade Law at the Hague Academy of International Law.
She was a longtime professor at the UP, teaching for 20 years, from 1986 to 2002.

She became the Executive Director of the AIM in 2009, a post she held on to for a year.

Sereno became president of ACCESSLAW, Inc. in 2000, a post she continues to enjoy up to the present.

Awards, other credentials

In her 25 years as a lawyer and educator, Sereno received the following awards:
- 1998 Outstanding Women in the Nation's Service
- 2000 Most Outstanding Alumna Award, Quezon City High School
- 2003 Most Oustanding Alumna Award, Kamuning Elementary School
- 1991 Provincial Citation, Camarines Sur
She was also able to edit the book, Thirty Years and Beyond (UP Law, 1997).
Sereno was the key writer on Law and Economics and the Constitution and Judicial Review of Economic Decisions.
She also drafted the legal framework for the operations of the first paperless trading of securities in the country for the Bureau of Treasury (BT).

Endorsements for Chief Justice, oppositions
Sereno was not automatically nominated for the top judicial post for being one of the most junior magistrates of the Supreme Court, rather, she was nominated by the following:
- Felma Roel Singco (June 13, 2012)
- Reagan De Guzman (June 13, 2012)
- Atty. Fidel Thaddeus Borja (June 14, 2012)
- Attys. Jordan Pizarras, et al. (June 15, 2012)
- Christian Legal Society through Atty. Salvador Fabregas (June 14, 2012)
- Bishop Efraim Tendero (June 18, 2012)
- UP Women's Circle (June 13, 2012)

source : ABS-CBN News
image credit: http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/ 

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